Dominican Republic

Dominican cultural identity

The Dominican Republic is a country with great historical and cultural richness, the product of the meeting of Spanish, African and Taíno cultures. Dominican culture expresses this mix vividly, and more visibly in its music and gastronomy.

Dominican art, like Dominicans themselves, is a reflection of its environment and therefore mirrors the particularities of our island. The strident colours of our paintings, the exuberance of our rhythms and the overflowing joy of the Dominican people echo our tropical flora, the constant sun and the blue of the sea that surrounds us.

 

Our music, Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Merengue is a musical and dance style originated in the Dominican Republic at the end of the 19th century. The primary instrumental structure of the typical merengue ensemble synthesises the three cultures that make up the idiosyncrasy of Dominican culture. The European influence is represented by the accordion, the African one by the tambora, and the Taíno by the güira. Its greatest exponent is Juan Luis Guerra, who helped position merengue on international stages.

The music and dance of the merengue were declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on November 30, 2016.  November 26th is National Merengue Day.

The Cofradía de los Congos del Espíritu Santo de Villa Mella and the Cocolo dance theatre are also both included in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Recently, the candidacy for the entrance of Dominican bachata in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity was presented.