Cojuelo Spirit

The Dominican Carnival is one of the most colourful traditions in the Dominican Republic. It is a fusion of religions and cultures from Spanish catholicism to African paganism. The central characters of the carnival are the Diablos cojuelos (i.e. devils who walk with a limp) whose costumes consist of an elaborate devil’s mask with horns and teeth and a brightly coloured, layered suit covered with small mirrors and bells. According to the legend, the Diablo cojuelo hurt his leg when he fell after being banished to Earth because of his clownish pranks.

​​​​Cojuelo Spirit uses rhythms derived from Latin-American dances (e.g. merengue) to portray the festive atmosphere of the carnival and are layered to create a similar result to that of the popular dances. The two main themes of Cojuelo Spirit are rooted in the chorus of a typical Dominican carnival song, which goes as follows: baile en la calle de noche, baile en la calle de dia (‘dance on the street at night, dance on the street during the day’).

Copyright 2012 Jose Guillermo Puello