Archives



Simona Esquina Pride for Congo Tradition

In this excerpt, Esquina discusses her pride for the Congo tradition and its importance to the towns of Panama’s upper coast.

November 1, 2023

Simona Esquina Razor Blades in Devil Whips

In this excerpt, Esquina discusses the changes she has seen in the Congo tradition over the course of her lifetime. Specifically, she talks about changes that she has witnessed in ways in which younger practitioners who perform the role of devil in other communities sometimes put razor blades in their whips, which violates the nature of the game.

November 1, 2023
Congos Posing For Pictures After Tourist Presentation (Photo by Oronike Odeleye)

Simona Esquina Beginning of Congo Season

In this brief excerpt, Esquina describes the ways in which Congo season begins in Panama on the feast day of San Sebastian with the raising of the Congo flag.

November 1, 2023

Simona Esquina Changes to the Congo Tradition

In this excerpt, Esquina discusses the changes she has seen in the Congo tradition over the course of her lifetime. Specifically, she talks about the rare existence of two palacios in 2003 and the shifting commitment of Congo practitioners who once participated in the tradition exclusively and without interruption during carnival season before the road was constructed in the early 1970s, which connected Portobelo and the rest of the Coasta Arriba to the broader Republic.

November 1, 2023

Simona Esquina Changes to how the Devil is Played

In this excerpt, Esquina discusses the changes she has seen in the Congo tradition over the course of her lifetime. Specifically, she talks about changes that she has witnessed in ways in which the devil character is played.

November 1, 2023

Simona Esquina Mama Guardia

In this excerpt, Esquina discusses the changes she has seen in the Congo tradition over the course of her lifetime. Specifically, she talks about the role that a character named “Mama Guardia” once played.

November 1, 2023

Simona Esquina Changes to the Role of the Pajarito

In this excerpt, Esquina discusses the changes she has seen in the Congo tradition over the course of her lifetime. Specifically, she talks about the role that Pajarito, the Little Bird, once played in the Congo game, and the ways in which the character and the game have shifted. The construction of the road signaled the end of the game as one between neighboring Congo Kingdoms who competed to capture each others’ palacio/palenque. The contemporary game is between the discrete Congo communities and the character of the devil.

November 1, 2023

Simona Esquina Tourism Reviving Congo Tradition

In this short excerpt, Esquina talks about the ways in which tourism is reviving aspects of the Congo tradition in Portobelo.

November 1, 2023

Simona Esquina Changes to the Role of the Princess

In this excerpt, Esquina discusses the changes she has seen in the Congo tradition over the course of her lifetime. Specifically, she talks about the role that the princess character once played.

November 1, 2023

Simona Esquina Memory of Mother Dancing

In this excerpt, Esquina shares one of her fondest childhood memories, the one and only time that her mother danced in the Congo tradition.

November 1, 2023