Puerto Rico Culture – History and Traditions

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Puerto Rico is an island rich with history and culture. Despite the fact that Puerto Rico is currently a United States an area, it blossoms with its recorded customs. Puerto Rican culture is similar as its kin—energetic and lively, with a set of experiences loaded up with festivity.

History of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico invests heavily in its set of experiences. Its first occupants, the Taino, were a native gathering that lived on the island 1,000 years before the Spanish showed up.

After getting back from his second journey to the Americas in 1493, Christopher Columbus arrived at Puerto Rico and guaranteed it for Spain. He named the island San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist), yet the name was changed not long after to Puerto Rico, which implies rich port, and San Juan turned into the capital city.

As a result of the numerous connections between the local Taino individuals and Spanish pioneers, Puerto Rican culture is a mix of Taino, Spanish, and African societies. Parts of every one of the three can be found in cutting edge Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rican Music and Dances

Puerto Rico’s melodic roots go right back to the Taino public. Their music has a prevalent Caribbean sound that was played on handmade instruments, for example, the mayohuacán, a wooden cut drum. The güiro is another conventional Puerto Rican instrument utilized by the Taino public. It is a percussive instrument produced using an emptied gourd.

Other music conventions were carried to Puerto Rico with the presentation of Spanish and African societies. These new occupants brought shifting instruments, including a few sorts of guitars with fluctuating degrees of strings. One that stands apart most is the Puerto Rican cuatro, which has 10 strings!

A Ten-stringed puerto rican cuatro.

Percussion instruments go inseparably with stringed instruments in Puerto Rican music. Tambours, which are produced using emptied tree trunks regularly covered with creature skin, can be heard on the roads every now and again.

Perhaps the most perceived melodic classifications related with Puerto Rico is the salsa, regularly called “the mood of the islands.” The rhythms from salsa music are frequently perplexing and draw individuals onto the dance floor.

Salsa moving frequently goes with salsa music and is regularly portrays as “tasty and zesty.” It really began in the Puerto Rican and Cuban people group of New York City, however it has gotten very mainstream on the island also. If you’re considering visiting Puerto Rico be sure you connect with our good friends at Island Journeys in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rican Dances

Like different parts of Puerto Rican culture, dance customs come from the Taino individuals alongside Spanish and West African roots. Puerto Ricans love to recount stories through their moves, which regularly incorporate excellent and lively outfits—ladies wear long, streaming skirts, and men wear enormous caps just as scarves to coordinate the ladies’ skirts.

The bomba is one of Puerto Rico’s most celebrated moves and is adored by many. It was begun toward the finish of the seventeenth century. The individuals who worked in the sugar stick fields were slaves. They made the dance and utilized it to communicate their dissatisfaction about the difficulties of their condition.

While the plena is regularly considered as a customary Christmas dance, it is a dance and a sound that is heard all year. Like the bomba, the plena is an outflow of difficulties of the seaside areas of Puerto Rico and is done in 2/4 time.

Occasions in Puerto Rican Culture

The Puerto Rican individuals like to celebrate! They have more than 19 authority occasions on their schedule—contrasted with 10 government-perceived occasions in the terrain United States, 8 in the United Kingdom, and 7 in the European Union. The island has the longest Christmas season on the planet, and they love it.

La Navidad, the Christmas season, begins just in the wake of Thanksgiving Day and reaches out into the center of January. It closes with a major festival called “Holidays de la Calle San Sebastian,” additionally alluded to as “la SanSe.” People invest the energy singing “parrandas,” or Christmas hymns; Puerto Ricans frequently partake in customary Christmas caroling, gathering around individuals’ homes and singing as an astonishment.

Christmas Eve, or Nochebuena, is more celebrated by most than Christmas Day. A 12 PM mass frequently finishes up the Christmas Eve festivities, where the Nativity is regularly reenacted.

Your Puerto Rican Heritage

The Puerto Rican individuals have an energetic culture with a lot to celebrate and appreciate. Do you have connections to Puerto Rico? FamilySearch’s free record assortments can help you discover your Puerto Rican predecessors. Sign in or make a free record, and begin today!