Nicaragua Arts and Traditions

By | September 29, 2021


Like all American Indians, the Nicaraguan natives had dances and representations of a religious and ritual nature, accompanied by songs and music that became elements of tradition over time. The rich repertoire of religious and profane festivals, folkloric dances, romances, corridos etc. was grafted onto this fabric. that the Spaniards spread throughout the country as a cultural outcome of colonization. The typically mestizo folk shows that take place on religious solemnities (Holy Week, Immaculate Conception, Corpus Domini, St. John’s feasts, etc.) are still alive and frequent in Nicaragua and include characteristic dances (Gigantona, Pepe, Yegüita etc.) , mimes, choreographies e corridos. A precious document from the colonial era is a curious dialogue ballet, El güegüence (The director of the dances), composed in the 18th century. in a strange linguistic mixture (Nahuatl, Mangue and Spanish), on certainly earlier data reworked in a satirical and anti-colonial key. From the nineteenth century. forward, on the influence of European and American trends, the forms of entertainment have diversified and perfected in the classical genres of dance, theater and opera. Traditional music remains the protagonist of popular fiestas, and is played with instruments of ancient origin such as xylophones. The Nicaraguan way of dressing can now be defined as “Western”, even if the great craftsmanship of the fabric processing is reflected in many typical brightly colored garments. The residents’ diet is based on meat, cereals, tortillas, fruit. The national dish is gallo pinto, a dish of rice and beans. Wide consumption of beer and rum; among the most common drinks are chicha and tiste, made from cocoa.



Since there are no dates or chronological sequences, the archaeological finds of Nicaragua can only be classified on the basis of a geographical criterion. However, it can be deduced that the finds are not very ancient, as they are often mixed with European artifacts. The eastern part of Nicaragua is linked to the culture of northeastern Honduras in uses, stonework and pottery. Typical are the monolithic axes, the anthropo- and zoomorphic lithic figurines of the Caribbean coast and the lithic columns with figures carved in bas-relief, which refer to the art of central Panama and northern Peru. On the coast there is an engraved monochrome ceramic. In the western part of Nicaragua contacts with the late Mexican cultures are rather noticeable. Noteworthy are the monolithic statues with alter ego and the anthropomorphic portrait-figurines of Lake Managua, which refer to the art of Linea Vieja (Costa Rica). There are numerous clay styles: polychrome pottery with black outlines on the Pacific coast, with Mexican motifs, zoomorphic vases in the northwestern area, polychrome pottery on the west coast, whose apparently geometric motifs actually represent stylized animals; the ceramic engraved under ingubbiatura should also be remembered, with a diffusion center on the western shore of Lake Nicaragua, but which is also present in Costa Rica and Veracruz (Mexico). According to listofusnewspapers, Nicaragua is a country in Central America. The figurative arts began to have a development of some importance after the arrival of the Spaniards. The main trends have long been dictated by historical and political events: evangelization, independence, revolution, return to the roots with naive art. Among the major Nicaraguan painters we remember Rodrigo Peñalba (1908-1979), Omar D’Leon, Armando Morales.


Referring to the pre-Columbian and colonial period, it is difficult to separate exclusively religious representations from secular ones or from other kinds of spectacles, as they are equally imbued with aspects of Indian folklore, mixed with customs introduced by Europeans. After independence, at the end of the nineteenth century, some companies were active in the country, such as that of J. Blen who staged a comedy (Cada oveja; Every sheep) and a drama (Manuel Acuna) by Rubén Darío in Managua, whose texts have been lost. Somewhat more active, but always sporadic, is the theatrical activity in the century. XX. After some ephemeral successes of modernist poetic theater (Ocaso, by S. Argüello), politician (La rifa, 1919, by A. Fletes Bolano) and pedagogist (Josefa Toledo), the first national playwright, Hernán Robleto, obtained a certain fame, but preferably lived abroad. Only in 1927, with the literary renewal begun by J. Coronel Urtecho, did a more substantial theatrical activity start. The Teatro Experimental Lope and later (1935) the Vanguardia Group were born, with avant-garde and popular trends; authors (Pasos, Cuadra, Ordónez, Argüello), university-trained actors and directors assert themselves; the new techniques of the world theater are experimented; popular theater is revalued especially by the Taller San Lucas of Granada, animated by F. Pérez Estrada (1917-1982). Modern theater does not register great personalities or companies, and finds some space only in major cities. De niña a mujer (2004) and Historia de Rosa (2005) by Florence Jaugey, Con ánimo de lucro (2006) by Joan Planas, El Inmortal (2005) by Mercedes Moncada Rodriguez.

Nicaragua Arts and Traditions