Colombia’s world-famous Barranquilla Carnival is not just an excuse for a giant party on the Caribbean coast – for writer and linguist Marlene Luna it is a fascinating tradition which contains a weath of information on the country’s heritage.
Luna, alongside Professor Oscar Boude of the Universidad de la Sabana, has been working for over a year to collect various cultural articles associated with the Carnival, which is World Heritage listed, in order to preserve the event and its history for generations to come, reports El Tiempo.
In addition to the actual articles used during the world-famous festival, the two have been collecting the literature and texts that have sprung up around the event, in order to analyze the influence of food, folklore, dance, music and the role of patron saint, on the festival and the people of the region.
They have also created a dictionary with over 700 terms used during the popular Colombian festival.
An example of some of the various terms compiled in their dictionary include:
“Ay h’ombe!”: Interjection expressing complaint or regret.
“Cipote”: Expression of surprise, used by the Barranquilleros to denote excitement or admiration for something.
“¡erda!”: Slang euphemism for the word shit. Denotes amazement.
“¡juepage!”: Cry of joy. The word reflects the sensation of cumbia dancers.
“Monocuco”: Outfit that hides the identity and promotes “chaos” during the festival: The monocuco is a very striking costume and loved by Barranquilleros.