Congas and Comparsas
These dancing manifestations date back to the beginning of the 19 th Century when colonial authorities allowed the slaves to hold The Three Wise Men celebrations. With the emergence of these gatherings from different African nations it was possible to get acquainted with their customs, songs and dances, as well as with their typical musical instruments. As a result of the integration process of these groups to the Cuban society, this carnival tradition was preserved in different neighborhoods of the capital with the participation of people in general. The Comparsas were organized during Republican times: these were different groups who danced from their neighborhoods to downtown and were evaluated by a jury who selected the best ones. Later on, these groups improved their organization and started dancing in rows with their own choreography. The Comparsa is a figurative dramatic dance along the streets displaying a collective choreography performed with drums and repeated chants by a choir called Conga : name given to this kind of music, mainly rhythmic and repetitive, that is frequently accompanied by trumpets or Chinese horns, like in the eastern part of the country. The comparseros or congueros transmit their tradition from one generation to the other, that is why the most famous comparsas of colonial times are still currently performed with the same name, customs and dancing style. Some examples of this trend include the comparsas of El Alacrán, Las Bolleras, Los Marqueses de Atares and Las Jardineras.