in generate


Champeta is the cultural phenomenon and musical sort of independent and local origin of the afrodescendientes zones of the districts of Cartagena de Indias, (Colombia) with bonds of the culture Palenque of San Basilio.


The word 'Champeta' refers to the short, curved knife with the same name, used at work, in the kitchen and as defense and offensive weapon in this region.


The word of Champeta in Spanish as name or cultural meaning does about 90 years, since it has been dancing for about 35 and as I generate musical comedy about 26.

For but of 90 years it has been called to him champetudo to the inhabitants of districts moved away of the center of Cartagena, associated to the layers but poor and of Afrodesendientes characteristics, this name was put by the elite in an attempt to despise to this surviving culture, this name ambiguously accepted and trasformate, occurred from the origin by the relation of the citizens with a knifed called “champeta”, and it was associated to him to elements of vulgarity, poverty and afroamerican, of this form is a culture with a past historically marked between the slavery and mistreat that it last until today, related from a principle to the old districts but like the island Cayman at the moment called Olaya and the Pozón district.

In the Beginnings of 70 years the champeta as culture becomes visible at national level (Colombia) by the construction of a series of diverse complex dances to the rate of the music of the Caribbean, with sorts like the Salsa, Jivara and Regué of own countries like Cuba, Costa Rica, and diverse but of the tropic, these first dances were relax and life-of condition of the problematic ones of the Country was called “THERAPY CREOLE”.

In years 80 the “THERAPY CREOLE ” sung by cartagenians and palanqueros persons of San Basilio is begun to create a new musical comedy “, where soon people of Barranquilla, Santamarta and even of the rest of the country incurcionate in this idea, which loud speakers began to become popular in the machines tips (traveling discotecas pick-up).

Soon the same musical sort happened to be called of “Therapy Creole” to Colombian Therapy and finally Champeta.

Cultural Aspects and social Fact

The classic conception of the phenomenon champeta is centered in the existence of four aspects or “columns” of the culture: champeta music (or Therapy), the Benbocata (or slang), Picó (or pick-up) and the perreos (or celebrations). There are some who give the same importance to other aspects, as the dance, the political activism, the design of the clothes, and the rest of cultural elements.

Music Champeta or “Teraphy Creole”

It has been a contemporary rate that was born for 26 years in the city of Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) with a great influence of palenque San Basilio and which through the encounter of Music of the Caribbean of the, years 80 that were made in Cartagena it extended soon at national level and influence reciprocally in similar international sorts like the Reggaeton, the Raga and others. I generate Therapy was born like an adaptation of African rates (soukous, highlife, mbquanga, juju) with Antillean vibrations (rap-raggareggae, Haitian compass, zouk, soca and calipso) and influences of descending music of the native and afrocolombians (bullerengue, mapalé, zambapalo and small canoe). This fusion of rates formed a new urban musical culture in the Caribbean context, that consolidated in the cartagenins quarters in the middle of the Eighties. Soon in years 90 it underwent a series of changes as much in its contents, as in its music, accompanied by digital phenomen, plates (arrhythmic interventions) and as much being loved as rejected by the sectors elites of the country, generating therefore I generate differentiated from its origins enough that inspired it.

In his beginnings one spread through the powerful equipment of sound denominated tips (of pick-up) that sound in the clubs or houses. It is characterized because the rhythmical base prevails over the melodics and harmonic lines, turning it a musical dance expression in which an overflowing force and a plasticity predominate. The instruments used in the execution of this glad and contagious rate are the electrical voice, battery, guitars, the low one, congas and the sintetizer, that add rhythmical effects.

This Musical Gendre has like unique element of, a division temporary of three accelerations, initial music, the choir and a third called element the Despeluque, that is own of strong and repetitive rates accompanied generally by plates (digital interventions)

With a popular and full language of inventive the champeteros they sing its experiences. The letters, superposed to African tracks or with original music, demonstrate the desobidience apttitude of the discriminated afroamericans sectors, that attack against the social and economic exclusion ot to tell their dreams of change and progress.

The Champeta at the moment has the called Hymn "I am Champetúo of Michel" who speaks of the pride of being people champeta and of problematic on the stratification and its history.

The Dj Chawala of the King de Rocha in the video, like part protagonist of this culture, is part of the Regional Hall Artists 2007 Bad Hall Eye, thanks to the intellectual support and of investigation titled the Polarization of the Champeta of the artist Rafael Escallón Miranda on this culture and its manifestations, who as much in this as in previous occasions has developed manifest champetudos plastics, related to the communication, the policy and the relation of this culture with the characteristic of Weapon like the trasgresor or contestatario, its important work but alludes to the tips and PIKÓ TOTEM is titled becoming in year 2005 leaves from the collection Permanent of the Museum of Modern Art of Cartagena and where soon also in 2006 she was winning of the Hall Art and Sport of the American Games Center and the Caribbean Cartagena of Indies.

In the cinema

The Film Brigands of its director Erlyn Salgado of Palenquero-Cartagenero origin was recognized like the first filmic manifestation of this Champeta culture, this film obtained diverse mentions in the Festival the International of Cinema, was doubled to the Portuguese and was Vista by all the Latin American countries and until European by the Pirate market, this production recently also is part of the Bad hall Eye of the Regional Halls Colombia.


At the moment the recognized tips but are: The King de Rocha, the Prince, the Siclon, the Pasqui and the Pole, among others.


The musicians of Champeta are Michel, the Afinaíto, the Sayayín, Charles King, the Pupy, the Jhonky (D.E.P.), Elio Boom, Mister Black, the enchantment, Alvaro “the Barbarian”, the Papo Man, Luis Towers, the Yao, Ito “the untouchable one”, Boogaloo, Dogardisc, Melchor Torres, the Pupy, Charles King, the Pitu, the Chano…, whereas others, like Elio Boom, have incorporated music of jamaicadel raggamuffin to the champeta.


Outside Colombia CARLOS VIVES is listened to that he interpreted in generate Champeta Therapy in Song “PA MAITE”.

Outside Colombia also DANIDEX it interprets the version in Spanish of Mr Lonely and has welcome. The Joe Arroyo dedicates itself to mix diverse musical influences, fundamentally the sauce with Colombian Caribbean music with the champeta.

Another significant bandage is BIP, that it originally made music of the champeta and is doing at the moment reggaeton, without going away behind its roots.


  • Documento en PDF

    LENA HANSEN (2006): “Carlos You live to all rate”, in, vol. 2, Nº 2. Web

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