The Carnival of Callao – a celebration with more than 120 years of antiquity – became on Thursday 1st December, the fifth Venezuelan cultural practice that enters the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage carried out by the United Nations Organization Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO).
This festival, celebrated in the southern part of the Bolivar state since 1870, is a tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation and represents the fusion of the culture of the people of the Caribbean to the rhythm of the calypso callaoense, the festival that takes place is interpreted with instruments of percussion, like the Bum-Bac, and drums of different sizes. Each year, the bands of the groups, which are 98, compose unpublished songs that are also part of the cultural and traditional heritage.
Also participating are the “black-half-pinto”, who represent the gold-mining workers, as well as the artisanal miners who sought gold in the nearby rivers with their “pits” and shovels.
Another infallible personage is the “devil”, figure with great masks and numerous horns that whip with whip to drunk and “sinful”. During the meeting of the intergovernmental committee that met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, UNESCO released the information through a press release, which detailed: “From January to March, this traditional festival groups Up to about 3,000 participants who parade through the streets of the town disguised as historical or imaginary characters to the rhythm of the calypso.’’
The note highlighted the transfer of this cultural practice to the new generations that begins in the families of El Callao but also takes place in schools by cultists of this tradition. “In which children acquire the necessary skills to participate in the carnival, composing melodies, playing musical instruments, singing, dancing and making masks,” the note added.
Four other cultural practices typical of the Venezuelan people have been recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity: In 2015, Unesco’s list of traditional knowledge and techniques related to the cultivation and processing of curagua was included in Unesco’s list; In 2014, The oral tradition Mapoyo and its symbolic referents in the ancestral territory; In 2013, the parranda of San Pedro de Guarenas and Guatire and in 2012 the Diablos Danzantes, which has eleven expressions in different regions of the country.