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Culture Tuesdays: Loiza


The town of Loiza in Puerto Rico birthed the musical form, La Plena. La Plena music is Afro-Puerto Rican in nature; considered a “hybrid” musical form for the elements of African music found in its form and lyrics. It is practiced by both blacks and people of mixed race in the coastal towns of southern and southeastern Puerto Rico. La Plena was born on the sugar plantations in the early 1920’s. It had a call and response form, similar to most African music. Plena expressed the struggle of the working class and documented everyday experiences of the town, like “musical news”. The instruments used to perform Plena are; a panderetas, guitar, cuarto, guiro, maracas, bongos, and congos.

Plena has a quick rhythm, where couples dance facing each other. The plena drummers do not have one on one conversations, but they have solos. The Traditional clothing of Plena were dresses that did not have a neck, they were short-sleeved, and had a skirt that came to the mid-calves. The dresses usually were floral or had very colorful print. The males wore white pants with a shirt to match the women’s dress.

Check out a performance of Plena by watching the video above!

Enjoy Loves! ❤️

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