One, two, three, what a cool step this is!

One, two, three, what a cool step this is!

Heritage & Traditions

By Fabiana Matamoros

To the rhythm of drums and the most rustic instruments, the overwhelming conga moves. With colorful costumes, characters on stilts and dancers who give off pure joy, the event that invades the town of music and excitement shines on.

It is impossible not to get carried away by the vocal and choreographic choir that is improvised, without any complexity, for all the guests to follow. This is the case in the island's carnivals, from the stands defending a baseball team or even in the streets of Old Havana, where it is common to run into stilt walkers, a company that brightens the streets of the city dancing on stilts to the rhythm of the conga.

This popular dance was practiced here at the time of slavery, when Cuba was under Spanish rule and the black slaves had a way of having fun in their few days off with this rhythm.

The musical protagonist of the conga is the drum, but with it, cowbells, tumbadoras, pans, bass drums and trumpets sound.

Although the conga is practiced throughout Cuba, there is one that stands out above all: the conga from Santiago. It was born in 1900 in the Los Hoyos neighborhood and has an unmistakable sound that is characterized by the Chinese cornet.

The sound of the cornet announces that the party begins and begins to "roll over" through the streets under the one, two, three without knowing how far it will take dancers, because the Cuban conga is irresistible.

"And to say goodbye, let the singers sing", as the famous conga from Santiago says, Longing for the conga.