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Murga Porteño links

Murga Porteño

Buenos Aires Carnaval 2008 youtube video

Buenos Aires
Carnaval 2007 you tube video

Buenos Aires
Carnaval 2007 you tube video

 Murga Uruguaya

(back to Murga Porteño  -  Carnaval 2008)

At the same time, in the area of Rio Plato that would become Uruguay, a style called Murga Uruguaya was developing.  This style of Murga is more theatrical, some call it Spanish opera, and has costumes and songs designed to present the comic/ironic theme of the show.
Some examples inculde:

la Murga  
Tute Cabrero video

Murga Uruguaya links: - Uruguay


Tute Cabero home page


Murga Uruguaya Asalantes video











Over the years  "Murga" in Buenos Aires took on it's own particular style. The "Murga Porteño" style was born in the poor, San Telmo, district of Buenos Aires. 
(The same time and place where  tango was born) 

Murga Porteñao incorporates the African rhythms of candombe.  Candombe, a legacy of the slave trade in the 1700’s,  is a secular version of the African Candomble found in Brazil.

Although Murga Porteño is now accepted as part of the cultural heritage of Buenos Aires, the traditional holidays of Lundi Gras (fat Monday) and Mardi Gras (fat Tuesday) are work days for many in Argentina since that last military dictatorship removed these days from the national holiday colander. 


In 2008 the Murga groups held a demonstration to urge the government to re-instate the Monday/ Tuesday carnaval holiday.  This is a video of the protest.
Murga protest parade 2008





The African Influence

The African rhythm of Condombe
  is still found in
the streets of Buenos Aires.

Argentina is noted for its lack of people of color.  The exact reason for this is a puzzle. 

The lack of visible people of color in Argentina has traditionally been explained by several widely held beliefs:

  • Most Africans in Argentina died off during the yellow fever epidemics.

  • Many were killed during Indian wars and war of independence.  Slaves enlisted because they were promised freedom.  Unfortunately, they were then put on the front lines and some say they were used as "cannon fodder."  In any even many died in the wars.


Another reason cited for the very small current day population of Africans is the influx of Europeans during the 1800's. 

In the early 1800’s Argentina was sparsely populated.  An immigration policy was enacted to encourage European migration. 
In the 1870s, due to the economic crisis in Europe, immigration rates were high.  This continued through the 1930's. Unofficial records show that, during the 1860s, 160,000 immigrants arrived to Argentina, while in the 1880s the number increased to 841,000, almost doubling the population of the country in that decade. Between 1857 and 1940 6.611.000 of Europeans immigrants arrived to Argentina.

Those remaining with African blood "disappeared" into the predominately European population through intermarriage. 
Still, some history books call the country's lack of self-identifying people of color "one of the most intriguing riddles in Argentine history," while another notes that "the disappearance of the Negro from the Argentine scene has puzzled demographers far more than the vanishing Indian."  The  combination of events left Argentina “97 % white."

Still the African culture remains in the rhythms and dances of tango, candombe and Murga.