La Magia Candombe is an essential way of life for Uruguayans living in Canada, a reverberation of rhythm being infused into our Canadian heritage.

Songs of freedom
Details & Storyline
  • Candombe is a style of music and dance that immigrated to Uruguay with enslaved Africans. In 2009, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) inscribed Candombe in its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. With many immigrants leaving Uruguay to find a new life in Canada, they brought with them this sacred tradition. Today this historical music that originated in Africa is becoming a part of our Canadian heritage. This music carries centuries of resistance and liberation; Canadians must recognize and protect it. The word Candombe means "place and dance of Africans." The musical tradition evolved during the colonial area. Africans brought to Uruguay for slave labour used the rhythm of the tambores, or drums, to communicate with each other and defy colonialists. Montevideo's colonial district is the birthplace of Uruguay's Candombe music. Africans from the Southern and Western regions, Bantú regions, which include Congo, Angola and Mozambique, were brought to Uruguay through the slave trade beginning in 1750. Being from different nations and areas, they didn't have the possibility of communicate through language. They relied on the Candombe beat as a means of communication. A similar method was developed by enslaved people in the U.S. trying to flee for freedom to Canada. These Songs of the Underground Railroad were spiritual, and work songs used to encourage and convey coded information to escaping slaves as they moved along the various routes to freedom.

  • Release Date
    October 1, 2023
  • Languages

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