Jaranas and Jarabes

Joy in the peninsula

La Jarana is a musical rhythm that synthesizes the interracial and intercultural mix, as well as the popular atmosphere in the Yucatan Peninsula. It is an artistic manifestation of cheerful, lively and boisterous people.

It is also a "zapateado" or "valseado" dance, according to its meter; of six eighths or three quarters, respectively. It runs in pairs, but does not have fixed steps or difference between man and woman. It is a festive rhythm that was used as an entrance or escape in many musical mixtures during the era of the viceroyalty and prevails to date.

Anthropologically, its origin has not been established, although the references suggest the capital of Peru. It is presumed that it was born as a frenzy allusive to the new social composition, to the mixture of races, to the so-called "new world".

In Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Campeche many traditions are shared, among them, music and dance, although each region has particular accents, Spanish, African, Mayan influences; therefore, there is a rich variety of compositions around the jarana.

In Campeche, whose walled capital received slaves, luxuries and trends from mainland Spain and from overseas, the Jarana also had a rhythmic alternative to the Palmares festivities. It is a dance of gypsy influences; An animated dance very widespread throughout Mexico: the Jarabe.

Such is the case of the Creole Jarabe, which is counted among the oldest compositions among the Mexican jarabes and which was inspired by the bells of the massive call; or the cat jarabe, which at that time was described as indecent and obscene ...

Another one of the campeche jarabes rescued of the time and the censorship was the Cuban one. A short and frantic zapateado mixed with waltzes of fast turns and amplitude of scene, same that concludes with a strong blow of heel and an outburst to the public to demand an applause.

Jarana and jarabe are performed in the so-called palmar parties; The neighborhood dances, or the acclaimed "lecherías", that is, cowboy parties. These are sponsored by the employer to cheer up your muleteers stable or to thank them for a good job. In these festivities, where the rich and the poor coexisted, an orchestra called a band of guilds played. This training is currently maintained and includes: saxophones, trumpet, trombones, clarinet, smal drums, bass drum and güiro.

Both jarana and jarabe have been the musical basis of most of Campeche's popular compositions. Both rhythms have influenced the generation of other dances that make up the exuberant, picaresque and cadenced universe of what Mexicans call "campechano" (from campeche); A casual combination of good habits and attitudes.

¿Qué Saber?

What to Know?

  • The inhabitants of Campeche are distinguished from other Mexicans by their great passion for music and dance. An example of this is the more than 12 jaranas born throughout the history of the beautiful state of Campeche.
  • The Flor de la Malagueña is considered one of the oldest jaranas from Campeche, and it consists of a group of women that perform choreographed dances with short displacements and movements in the Spanish style.
  • The Fandango is a classic jarana rooted in Campeche since the XVIII century. It is interpreted by marking and challenging with stomps of the heel whomever is found closest, whether it is a man or a woman.
  • The Jarabe Gatuno is considered a classic in Campeche as it is only there that all three versions of the dance that exist are performed.
  • The typical dress of the Campechan women is composed of a linen blouse or huipil that is embroidered by hand with black thread. Around the neck and arms it is embroidered with onion or pumpkin flowers. The coat of arms of Campeche is embroidered on the front.
  • The skirt, or saya, is full and reaches the ankles and is decorated with lace. The women also wear a shawl, and their shoes called “chancletas” have a hard sole made of leather.
  • The men wear a white linen “Filipina” suit with gold buttons, black pants, and a red silk belt around the waist and tied to one side. They also have a red bandana when it is required and shoes or black leather espadrilles.
Jaranas y Jarabes

Admire the joy in this folkloric dance of Campeche

Jaranas and Jarabes

Learn more about the Jaranas and Jarabes of Campeche


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