Tambores de San Juan

This dance is a cultural fusion with African roots and the most important instruments are the tambores (drums). This music and dance style play a main role during the popular ceremonies that are held in honour of San Juan Bautista (John the Baptist) who enjoys great popularity throughout Venezuela. Those magical ceremonies are full of contagious enthusiasm.
One can hear the beat of the tambores, which symbolise the prelude for the procession through the village. The procession stops in regular intervals in order to pay homage to San Juan. This is done through fervent dancing to the rhythm of the tambores. The believers wear handkerchiefs in different colours.


This music style is very widespread and popular throughout the Llano region between Venezuela and Colombia.
The farmers who lived in this region used to listen to the Spanish fandango and learned to play this music. In the farmers’ version, however, there was an evident African influence, namely the distinctive rhythm, marked by a rustic harp.
The use of maracas indicates that also the indigenous culture flowed into this music.