KiNg MoMoS Is CoMiNg!!!
Among all the festivities we celebrate in Uruguay, Carnival is the one I enjoy the most. It is almost impossible to describe our Carnival but maybe you can get the picture by reading the following article.
To the beat of the drum and Momo Montevideo is a city with the heart of a neighbourhood and the spirit of the murguista.
By Juan Pablo de Dovitiis
With the heart of a neighbourhood rather than a large metropolis, Uruguay’s capital city reflects the feel of its people through the colourful faces of its murguistas, the paintings of Joaquin
Torres Garcia, its melancholy spirit, partly influenced by its tango traditions, and the sounds of its drums booming through the February heat.
In contrast to its larger Atlantic coast neighbours, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, Montevideo does not dazzle with its lights, but rather invites visitors to mingle with a people that still gather together to drink the national drink, mate (pronounced ma-tae), in its squares and beaches
during the day, or to drum away songs to Momo, the god of carnival, at night.
The two best known aspects of the city’s carnival are the candombe groups and the murgas, who generally represent specific neighbourhoods of Montevideo and carry with them their own fans.
Candombe is a cultural remnant of the traditions brought by African slaves, and has its most renowned celebration during the “Llamadas” parade, a must-see for all visitors who want to see the city explode in colour and rhythm with hundreds of drummers booming through the night accompanied by traditional dancers.
The other side of Montevideo’s carnival is the murga, which is a kind of partly-sung play which has become an emblematic part of Uruguayan culture. Banned during the dictatorship of the
70s and 80s for its irreverent criticisms of the government, the different murgas of Montevideo, like Araca La Cana, Falta y Resto and La Antimurga BCG, have names that are as colourful
as the painted faces of its members, the murguistas.
I love the atmosphere when the festivity is getting closer, for those like me who love Carnival, January is the countdown time to find out about the groups, see some rehersals or to watch on TV all the preparation for the competition, which lasts sometimes more than a month.
Who competes? Well, there are diffentent categories,
NeGrOs Y LuBoLoS
If you could only be there when the group of drums passes close to you!!! You can feel the drums inside your body….so unique!
This category is formed mostly by young boys who dance VERY GOOD and have all the girls’ eyes on them.
I have my favorites in each category, but in general I like most of the groups.
Below you can see some photograhies from previous years; how colorful February gets in our country!…I wish you could come to see the magic of KiNg MoMos….and I also wish I were black and younger to dance as those vedettes do!!!
Please visit these webpages to see hundreds of pictures of our Carnival!!