Arts & Entertainment

Floats of Colombian Pasto Carnival return after Covid hiatus

Pasto, Colombia, Jan 8 (EFE).- The colorful floats of the artisans of the Colombian city of Pasto reflect their delight that the Blacks and Whites’ Carnival has partially returned to normal after a virtual 2021 edition due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The festival’s floats, which were declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009, were not allowed to move, in accordance with the health authorities’ coronavirus guidelines.

Artisan Germán Jurado, however, tells Efe, it is “a privilege to once again enjoy what we are taught to live each year.”

“We waited nine months (until September) to start the madness because for us, the madness does not begin in January with Carnival, but when we start making the prototype,” he added.

He is one of a group of 20 people who worked on the float “Latin America”, a giant work based on the face of a boy from the Villa Lucía neighborhood and with which its creators seek to pay tribute to their roots.

The float, inspired by the literature of the Uruguayan Eduardo Galeano, is 13 meters high and has colorful figures that took artisans months of hard work.

In the workshop of Master Andrés Barrera, in the Anaganoy neighborhood, the artisans painted human and animal figures, including the guinea pig, a traditional food in the region.

The aim was to reflect their disagreement with the situation in Colombia, which led to violent, anti-government rallies last year.

“The work (…) is an expression in the form of anger, a way of expressing that anger that we feel toward the injustices that may be happening in Colombia,” David Meneses, one of the artisans in charge, tells Efe.

However, the float goes further and also seeks to reflect the magic of what is Pasto, Andean city and capital of the department of Nariño, bordering Ecuador.

According to Barrera, it is a place where “musicians inherit the charm of the wind to soar their melodies through their instruments; a place where the powers of earth and water are embodied in the hands of artisans”.

Now, after a two-year hiatus imposed by Covid, an effusive public can once again gather this week in the streets to enjoy the work of local artisans at the Carnival of Blacks and Whites, to the sounds of the phrase “¡Long live Pasto, damn it!”. EFE


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