Let’s learn from the Riosucio Carnival

Óscar Henao Carvajal dedicated himself to researching, compiling and describing in detail each of the expressions that give life to the Riosucio Carnival on the lips of citizens.

Like a Dictionary, it presents us with a work full of pedagogy for those who want to know more about this show, the most autochthonous of Caldas and surely the one with the greatest projection. The Carnival began yesterday and will go until next Wednesday when the Devil’s burning takes place. Tomorrow is the gang parade. Take advantage to go.

According to its author, this text finally includes a thousand 86 expressions, voices and words. It is a careful task that demonstrates not only the persistence of the author, but also his love for this Carnival that thousands of people in the country fall in love with and become the best promoters of it.

I selected a few terms from those that appear in the Riosucio Carnival Dictionary -The language of the freedom of the masks-, as a sample of what readers, folklorists and friends of Carnival can find in this text that adds to the literature matachinesca. Buy it and learn more, while having fun with humorous definitions that cannot be missing at a party made big through the viperine word of the town criers and gangs.


MATACHINESCO ACT. Represented through Matachinesca Literature: Decree, Invitation, Devil’s Entry, gangs, Devil’s Testament, Devil’s Burning, Pumpkin Burial. caravans.


BAPTISM OF THE ADOPTIVE RIOSUCEÑO. Act of religious parody that takes place at the beginning of the night of Carnival Monday. In a pagan ceremony, the Carnival Board grants the symbolic title of Adoptive Riosuceño to a foreign citizen for participating as a protagonist of the party. In a parallel with sacramental elements, the guarapo replaces the water; the lanterns represent fire. There is no gender discrimination.


GANG. Carnival company made up of men, women and diversity; children, youth, adults and the elderly. His first way is the costume that resembles him.


FAREWELL OF THE CARNIVAL DEVIL. * At the end of the Carnival, the Devil leaves through another place in the town different from the one where he arrived. He says goodbye in verse. He announces the “mermcas” that will suffer with rigid authorities.


ENTRANCE OF THE DEVIL. *The main symbol enters on Carnival Saturday. We Riosuceños went out jubilant to find him.

* Itinerary.


CARNIVAL FAMILY. The house with its carnival mystique indirectly becomes a classroom where the children of the family learn to sing the Carnival Hymn, to dress up loosely and later join the children’s groups.


GENESIS OF JOY AT CARNIVAL. *That of the authentic Indians who had their own symbols, legends, masks and theogonies. That of the effusive miners, spendthrifts eager for enjoyment like a flower sucking passions. And the peasants who invaded us from Antioquia arrived with a shining star for enjoyment and work. From Cauca Grande we received romances and poems that had been polished in Popayán, the cultured one. And no one managed to get rid of the spell; nor those who were from other races and other cultures such as Germans or English or French.

* Memories of miscegenation. Floclor of Riosucio.


RIOSUCIO CARNIVAL ANTHEM. Festive song that makes the hearts of the people of Rio Sucre vibrate, a prayer that sets the scene for the comedy of Carnival. *Main song of the festival that everyone learns without being taught by anyone, with lyrics and music by Don Simeón Santacolomba, was adopted in 1912.

*Riosucio Carnival. Structure and roots.



*Oh Carnival Devil.

wake up come back to life

and with your tail on

come my mind to illuminate,

to be able to continue

and get out of this predicament

of this black and hard trance

What am I going to get into?

*Albeiro Palomino Salas


CARNIVAL BOARD. *Central entity of the feista elected by the General Assembly of the Riosucio Carnival Corporation. It is the same Board of Directors of the Corporation and the Carnival of Riosucio.

*Riosucio Carnival. Structure and roots.


MATACHINESCA LITERATURE. *Riosucio’s own lyrical genre through which the poetic inspiration of the matachín is expressed in writings and texts such as decrees, Convite, Saludo al Diablo, lyrics of gangs and caravans, baptisms, testaments and songs to the Devil of Carnival.

* Memories of Mixing. Folklore in Riosucio.


MATACHIN. High priest of the Carnival of Riosucio. * He is a celebrant of the Riosucio Carnival. The Matachín is not just any participant, but the person who makes the Carnival, who gives it life. He dresses up, writes the matachinesco verses, sings and fills the streets of Rio Sucié with joy, color and fantasy. El Matachín keeps our beautiful tradition alive.



NOTARY IN THE WILL. Character that characterizes this public official who in the drama reads the Devil’s Testament.


ORIGIN OF THE CARNIVAL OF RIOSUCIO. *It preserves vestiges of the Three Kings festivities of Quiebralomo and the rituals of the Cult of the Sun of the Indians of La Montaña.

*Riosucio Carnival. Structure and roots.


PARODY. *Carnival is an ancestral musical parody that culturally has condemned us to this expression, that is why we Riosucanians live parodying realities.

* Hijue the holy devils.


BURNING OF THE DEVIL. *Epilogue of the great ritual comedy of Carnival. A small effigy of the Devil is burned with gunpowder. The great effigy is respected as a sign that the Devil does not really die, since only his reign has ended and in this way he is conjured to leave.

*Riosucio Carnival. Structure and roots.


THE DEVIL’S RESPONSE TO THE MATACHÍN THAT GREETS HIM. In the same way, the word in verse is felt when the Devil greets and then asks the Matachín who accompanies him in the greeting to render an account, also declaring his party inaugurated.


SALUTE THE DEVIL. *It is one of the most demanding and committed pieces of the entire Carnival, since it combines ritual expressions, reproaches and humorous passages. The hierarch who inaugurates gives him the floor to inaugurate his party.

*Riosucio Carnival. Structure and roots.


DEVIL’S TESTAMENT. *Final moment in which His Majesty the Devil, by means of a literary page, says goodbye to his people, thanks for the deal, condemns the embarrassing and mockingly and mischievously leaves his belongings as an inheritance to the people.

*Julian Bueno Rodriguez.


Ooh! UH CARNIVAL..! Ooh! UH CARNIVAL..! Exclamation of praise to joy.


FREEVERSE. It does not require rhyme or metrics to build it, but it is lyrical. When it does not have metrics or rhyme, one hears it said jokingly: “It doesn’t rhyme, but it’s true.”


XIXARACA. In another writing Xixarama or Xijaraca. *Spirit of good to whom the tribes of the anserma sought their protection against the Tamaracas or malefic geniuses. The missionaries changed Xixaraca for the Christian God.

*Quinchía mestizo, introduction.


I’M GOING TONO. It stood out as a sign on the fashionable hat of the carnivals of the seventies.


CARNIVAL SHOE RACK. * Shape the shoe according to the style of the costume, perfect and rescue destroyed shoes; mends recycled harlequin shoes; moccasins, sandals, boots, leggings and everything related to the aesthetics of carnival booty.

*Theatricality and aesthetics in the Carnival of Riosucio.

Riosucio Carnival Dictionary, by Óscar Henao Carvajal.

Let’s learn from the Riosucio Carnival