The Paisa Culture, customs and traditions

The inhabitants of the coffee region have their roots in the Paisa identity. They stand out for their kindness, their industriousness, their entrepreneurial spirit and their desire for adventure. Its customs, its gastronomy, its particular way of communicating and its history make the The Paisa community one of the richest in Colombia.


The Paisa community

In Colombia, the person born in the northwest of the country, specifically from the departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío, is known as Paisa. In addition, some regions of the department of Valle del Cauca (north) and the Department of Tolima (west) are identified with the Paisa culture. The main cities in the Paisa region are Medellin, Pereira, Manizales and Armenia.


Paisa is an apocope of "countryman" used in many parts of America, in Colombia it identifies a culturally and linguistically very defined group, also known as "mountaineer" or "antioqueño", in reference to ancient Antioquia, which included the other provinces. de Paisa, which was a single administrative body until the creation of the State of Caldas in 1905). Linguistically, it refers to the intonation (accent) typical of the departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Quindío, Risaralda, north and east of the Valley, and northwest of Tolima.


In terms of genetics, the Paisas are an isolated population. The DNA analysis shows that the initial paisa population was generated mainly by the mixture of men from the Iberian Peninsula with Amerindian women, then during the continuous migration from the peninsula it joined with the already established population, increasing the European component, this caused that the current paisa population has mostly European ancestry.

The Spaniards from Extremadura are the main ancestors of the Paisas, as the first governor of the region in the colony Gaspar de Rodas. Several towns, cities, and places in the Paisa region were named after towns, cities, places, or characters, for example: Medellín for Medellín de Badajoz; Cáceres for the province of Cáceres; Valdivia for the conqueror Pedro de Valdivia.


In the year 1537 the conqueror Francisco Cesar led an expedition from Urabá to the Cauca river in Dabeiba, being rejected by the warriors under the command of chief Nutibara. In 1540 Marshal Jorge Robledo founded the city of Cartago. The region was practically isolated from the entire colony because, despite the fact that the mountains of Antioquia were attractive for gold mining and cattle raising, they were not for the creation of large population centers such as Cartagena de Indias or Santa Fe de Bogotá. .


This isolation from the rest of the colony is the main reason for the cultural identity of the paisas within the Colombian national context. From the XNUMXth century until the end of the XNUMXth century, many Paisa families moved to the south of the territory of Antioquia in what is now known as the Colombian coffee belt.

This internal migration is known in Colombian history as the “Colonization of Antioquia”. At this time, most of the cities and towns in the area were founded, such as Caldas, Risaralda, Quindío and some towns in the north of Valle del Cauca and the west of Tolima.

On March 1616, XNUMX, the visitor Francisco de Herrera Campuzano founded the town of Villa de San Lorenzo del Poblado in the Valle de Aburrá, which would later be named Villa de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de Medellín, later taking the definitive name of Medellin.

Medellín was designated the capital of the province of Antioquia in 1826. In 1849, near the Nevado del Ruiz, Manizales was founded. In 1856 the state of Antioquia was created generating some civil wars between liberals and conservatives. In 1863 the city of Pereira was founded. In 1886, with a centralized Political Constitution, the Department of Antioquia was created.

In 1889 Armenia was created. In 1905, under the government of General Rafael Reyes, the Department of Caldas was created with the southern part of the Department of Antioquia. In 1966, the Department of Caldas was divided into three parts: Caldas, Quindío and Risaralda.



There is no administrative division where the "paisa region" is located, but rather it is an entity where the paisa culture is located, however it is possible to establish some areas as the natural space of the paisa people:

The department of Antioquia with an area of ​​63.612 square kilometers and a population of more than six million inhabitants, according to 2005 statistics, however, it cannot be considered that all of its territory is included within the Paisa culture. The subregion in the Department of Antioquia Urabá and the north of the department are more integrated into the Caribbean region of the country.

The Paisas are located within the Department of Antioquia, especially in the mountainous part, in the center and in the south, in what is called the "Montaña Antioqueña". The capital is Medellin, called the City of Eternal Spring and is considered the second largest urban and industrial center in Colombia. In the Metropolitan Area of ​​Medellín there are other cities of great importance such as Rionegro, La Ceja, Santafé de Antioquia, Puerto Berrío, Yarumal and others. The southwest of the Department of Antioquia is part of the Colombian Coffee Region.

The Department of Caldas was established in 1905 with an area of ​​7.888 square kilometers and a population of more than nine hundred thousand inhabitants, according to the statistics of two thousand five, its capital, Manizales, was founded by the Antioquians in 1849 and is nicknamed the City of Open Doors.

In the year 1966, the Department of Risaralda was established through the territory of Caldas with a total area of ​​4.140 square kilometers and a population of more than eight hundred thousand inhabitants, according to the statistics of the coffee zone for the year two thousand five, its The capital is Pereira, which was founded in 1863 and is known as La querendona, night owl and Morena.

The smallest department in Colombia is the Department of Quindío with 1.845 square kilometers, it was founded in 1966 with the city of Armenia, La Ciudad Milagro, as capital, according to the general census of 2005 it has a population of more than five hundred thousand inhabitants.

The cities of the Department of Tolima that belong to the Paisa culture are located to the west of the department and are Roncesvalles (founded by the Antioquians in 1905); Herveo (founded in 1860); Lebanon (founded in 1849); Casabianca (founded in 1886); Murillo (founded in 1871); Armero (founded in 1895) and Villahermosa (founded in 1887).

The towns and cities of the north of the Department of Valle del Cauca also have their origin in the Paisa culture: Seville (founded by the Antioquians in 1903); Alcalá (founded in 1819); Algeria (founded in 1904, also known as “Medellincito”); Bolivar (founded in 1884); Calcedonia (founded in 1910) Cartago (founded in 1540), El Águila (founded in 1905); The Union (founded in 1890); Versalles (founded in 1894) and Trujillo (founded in 1922).


The Castilian spoken by the paisas is known as Antioquian Spanish and is characteristic within Colombia, it is fast and at the same time soft, with many Colombian and regionalisms of its own that are sometimes unknown in other regions of the country.

One of the most outstanding characteristics of the use of Castilian by the Paisa culture is the voseo in colloquial speech. The Paisa uses the vos instead of the tu, the tú is used in formal communications, although it is also common to use it among family and friends. Even so, the vos is restricted to colloquial use and is rarely used in official documents or in the press as it happens in other regions where the voseo is used.


Several writers use the voseo in their works to strengthen their identity as Paisas, among others Tomás Carrasquilla, Fernando González, Ochoa Manuel Mejía Vallejo, Fernando Vallejo and Gonzalo Arango.

Like most of the American dialects in Castilian, the paisas do not distinguish the sound of the "s" from the "z" or the soft "c". In the Paisa region there is an intense pronunciation of the letter "s", it is articulated as an apicoalveolar "s̺", a transitional sound between "s" and "f", similar to the sound "sh" as in the center and north of Spain and southern Central America. The 'apicoalveolar' was influenced by Basques, Catalans and Extremadurans, and seseo was influenced by Andalusians and Canarians.


Paisa cuisine is highly influenced by its rural mountain environment. It is characterized by its large amount of grains, rice, corn, pork, cattle meat, regional fruits, potatoes and various types of vegetables.

The Paisa Tray is a very representative dish of the region and is very popular in Colombian food restaurants in South America, Europe and the United States. It is usually made up of carne asada or ground beef, pork rinds, rice, kidney beans, a slice of avocado, sweet fried plantains, a fried egg, a small white corn arepa, and sometimes chorizo.

Sopa de mondongo is a soup made from cubed tripe (the stomach of a cow or pig) simmered with vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, carrots, cabbage, celery, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, and root vegetables.

Antioquia empanadas are prepared with the flavor, seasoning and ingredients that are customary for consumption in Antioquia. It is characterized by an extremely thin dough and a very well seasoned filling. The most common fillings are meat, first of all, and potatoes.


Mazamorra in Antioquia often accompanies panela and is a very popular side dish for meals such as the paisa tray. The drink usually includes corn kernels, crushed with a mortar, then soaked in water, and finally cooked until soft. Mazamorra is very common for lunch and dinner at any time of the year. Mazamorra is a typical Colombian food that is served as a side dish or as a main dish, either familiar or informal.

Other typical dishes and drinks are Antioquian beans, Beans with a hoof, Antioquian sancocho, Antioquian black pudding, Antioquian sausage, Charcoal-grilled or grilled meats, Posta or sweaty boy or “sudao”, Hogao, Calentao paisa, Arepa paisa or Arepa de Tela, Pelao corn, shredded, nicknamed, muleteer, chocolo with Antioquian cheese, Peto, Antioquian cheese, Lentils, Antioquian tamale, Antioquian empanadas, Arequipe paisa with brevas, Marialuisa and confectionery, Piononos, Panderos, Pandeyucas and Pandequesos, Parva, Parviao chocolate, Custard.


Different musical genres are cultivated in the Paisa region, including traditional, modern and imported genres from other regions or countries. The preferred instruments for the interpretation of the different musical styles, especially the traditional one, are the tiple and the guitar.

El Pasillo is a genre of folk music and dance native to Colombia, it was extremely popular in the territories that made up the Viceroyalty of New Granada in the nineteenth century. It was born in Colombia and quickly spread throughout the territory, especially Ecuador (where it is considered the national musical style) and, to a lesser extent, in the mountainous regions of Venezuela and Panama. Venezuelans refer to this style of music as "valse".

Within the Paisa culture it has been so deeply rooted that the National Hall Festival is organized annually in the municipality of Aguadas in the department of Caldas. Carlos Vieco Ortiz is one of the most emblematic Paisa composers with more than two hundred and seventy composed corridors, including his party corridors and his slow corridors, one of the most popular being the corridor “Towards Calvary”.


La musica is a style of popular Colombian music for rumba and partying that originated in the region of Antioquia, it is also known as cantina music or guascarrilera music or simply guasca. The peasants of the region listened to many different musical genres from Mexico, Ecuador, Peru and Argentina such as Mexican rancheras, corridos and huapangos, tangos, waltzes, tonadas, zambas and Argentine corridors, and Ecuadorian and Peruvian corridors and boleros.

These paisa peasants, in the XNUMXs and XNUMXs, decided to interpret all these genres in their own style, generating the guasca, peasant and mountain music that evolved at the end of the XNUMXth century and the beginning of the XNUMXst century into what is known as like lane music.

Paisa trova or copla is a musical style that was generated in the Department of Antioquia, and consists of two singers competing with each other with sung and rhymed verses. The Paisa trova is musically simple with a binary or ternary rhythm where what is truly important is the improvisation in what is said and the creativity of the counterpointing troubadours. By general consensus, Salvo Ruiz and Ñito Restrepo de Concordia are considered creators of the Paisa trova.

The tango from Argentina and Uruguay became very popular in the Paisa culture of the early twentieth century. Carlos Gardel, considered the king of tango, died in a plane crash in the capital of the Paisa region, Medellín, in the year thirty-four. In the Manrique neighborhood of Medellín is the "Tangovia" where there is a monument in honor of Carlos Gardel and the Tango Festival is held there.

Flower Fair

Every year the Flower Fair is held in the city of Medellin, which is the most emblematic celebration of the city, and is the representative symbol of the Paisa culture. In a festive atmosphere typical of carnival, a wide variety of events not necessarily related to flowers are presented, including contests, car parades, Paso Fino horse parades and countless concerts.


The first Flower Fair was organized by Arturo Uribe Arango, a member of the Board of the Medellín Development and Tourism Office on May XNUMX, XNUMX, to celebrate the day of the Virgin Mary. The festival lasted five days with a flower exhibition displayed in the Metropolitan Cathedral, which was organized by the Medellín Gardening Club and Monsignor Tulio Botero.

As of the year one thousand nine hundred and sixty-eight, the summer was changed to the month of August to celebrate the independence of the department of Antioquia as well as to exalt and perpetuate the values ​​of the Paisa culture. The Flower Fair is a symbolic celebration of the flourishing of customs and of the race and of the entire life of the entire region.

The festival presents hundreds of events all full of color and wrapped in the perfume that the regional flora gives off, including activities such as Mule Carriers and Fondas, the Silleteros Parade and the "Cavalcade" as well as musical stages in all the city's neighborhoods.

One of the events of the Medellin Flower Fair is the Silleteros Parade. The silleteros currently classify their saddles into four types: Emblematic saddles with a message of moral and ethical content through the use of symbols of the country or religion or in honor of a prominent character.

The Monumental Silleta is the largest, approximately two by two meters, with a lot of color and great showiness, the design is inspired by its author using entire bouquets of at least four varieties of flowers with a crown of flowers in the center surrounded by gladioli and spikes.


The Traditional saddle is the stylization of the saddles used by peasants on their trips to the city of Medellin to bring flowers. Its approximate size is ninety by eighty centimeters with approximately one hundred varieties of traditional flowers from the region.

The commercial Silleta is commissioned by a commercial entity that wants its name to be associated as a sponsor of the Medellin Flower Fair.

Symbols of the Paisa culture

The identity of the Paisa culture is rooted in the history of colonization and in the “paisa” identity, which stands out for its kindness, industriousness, entrepreneurial spirit and desire for adventure. This led to the development of a region where coffee cultivation is its main socioeconomic engine.

The Poncho

The poncho is part of the typical clothing of the peasants of the cold regions of the department of Antioquia along with the espadrilles of cabuya, the Aguadeño hat, the machete, the Carriel and the zurriago. It is a saying among the inhabitants of the region that the poncho symbolizes the embrace of the Paisa family.

The Paisa poncho is made of pure wool and usually has dark and serious colors. In ancient times they could be adorned with red and yellow stripes but over time their design has been simplified. Currently the most common ponchos are black, also dark blue or dark gray reaching black.


According to "El testamento del Paisa" by Agustín Jaramillo Londoño, the measurements of the ponchos must be: "... The one that its owner has from the fingers of one hand to the fingers of the other with open arms." Some ponchos today have a collar, but this is from very recent times.

Aguadeño Hat

The Aguadeño hat is a handmade piece that has become a symbol of the Paisa culture and of the entire region. The Aguadeño hat is woven by hand with the fiber of the Iraca palm (Carludovica palmata) in the municipality of Aguadas, department of Caldas.

In the past, these hats had a fairly high crown, but they are no longer made that way, so these models are highly appreciated by collectors. Nowadays they are manufactured with the lower cup, they are short-brimmed or wide-brimmed and invariably the last is totally white and on the outside of the cup it has a black ribbon. The original and authentic Aguadeño hat is made with the fiber extracted from the heart of the Iraca palm and that is where its characteristic whiteness comes from.

History says that an Ecuadorian named Juan Crisóstomo Flores was the one who brought the hat to the region in 1860 and taught the population how to make it. The first manufacturers were all men, later women would join their manufacture.

The fiber of the iraca palm is subjected to sulfur vapors, after being cooked and dried in the shade, to give it the white color that characterizes it, then the skilled craftsmen will complete the work by giving the hat flexibility and shape. In the municipality of Aguadas, in the Department of Caldas, the iraca hat manufacturing industry reached a capital importance, until it became a local pride, as the verses of the poem “Aguadas, by the poet Aurelio Martínez Mutis say.


“Weaving hats, weaving tunes, the Iraca work your honest girls, like the muleteers who go, day by day weaving days. And your weavers sing stubbornly about love, joy, melancholy; the humble hands of those women who dye the wrought fabrics with sulfur have made your sunsets yellow and have given whiteness to your early mornings…”


The carriel or guarniel is a kind of leather bag or wallet for male use typical of the Paisa culture of Colombia since colonial times. This is a garment used almost exclusively by the inhabitants of the Paisa region and that distinguishes the lords of Antioquia. The carriel was widely used by the muleteers. One of its distinctive features is the large number of pockets and compartments it has, some of which may even be "secret".

When the Department of Antioquia was a purely agrarian area, the carriel was a garment for general use, but as the urbanization process of the region advanced, it was left for peasant use, however, being a representative piece, it became a symbol. of the region and of the entire Paisa culture.

There are several hypotheses about the origin of the name carriel or guarniel, one of them says that it comes from the word of the French language Cartier that means hunter's bag, another hypothesis attributes it to the evolution of the English phrase Carry all with the meaning to load all. Another possibility is that it has its origin in the Hebrew language Carr-I-El, "to carry or carry", or Guarni-El (guarniel), "to keep".

The cover or the front or the facade of the carriel is made of unpeeled animal skin, for it to be an authentic paisa carriel it must have fur and it must be perfectly combed, the bags without hair are imitations that have nothing of the original paisa garment .

The original Antioquia carriel were made of giant otter or tigrillo skin, they were also used, especially to make the facade skin of lion (puma) or tiger (jaguar), but lately for ecological reasons, to avoid hunting and achieve preservation of the wild species, the facades of the carriel are made with calfskin, which maintains the original presentation.

The carriel has a rope or strap, to be hung from the shoulder, approximately four centimeters wide, made of thin leather and necessarily covered with patent leather. Some very fine rails have ornaments made up of metal plates or eyelets and intricate drawings made with green, yellow and red colored threads.

At first the paisa carrieles had only two or three compartments, these gradually increased until they had eighteen pockets. Today's rails have a maximum of nine pockets including the three crests or secret pockets hidden between the linings.

The Machete

The machete is a single-edged work tool that on some occasions could also be used as a short weapon, the machete is similar to a knife but with a longer and heavier blade that the peasant generally carries attached to the left part of his waist. . It is wrapped in a highly ornate leather sheath, usually brown in color. The peinilla is similar to the machete but with a double edge and a thinner blade.

The machete in the hands of the Paisa farmer was not a weapon but a tool with which he went into the mountains to snatch from him with effort and sweat the land that he would cultivate and where he would build the incipient hamlets that over the years became large cities. The machete in the hands of the paisa was not a weapon for offense but a weapon to build the dreams of progress of a thriving land.

Verse of “Romance al arriero” by Guillermo Córdoba Romero: The canvas apron sounds / hanging from the hips; / the sheath of the comb / against the leg hits / and, dirty. Over the shoulders / the mule is folded.

The Muleteers

It can be said that the muleteers are the quintessential representation of the Paisa culture. Such is its importance that a muleteer, Juan Valdez, has become the image of Colombia in the world. The muleteers were the ones who dedicated themselves to driving mules to transport merchandise, goods, animals and food from one place to another in order to satisfy the needs of these products in small towns. In general, the muleteers were rough men, with no or very few studies, with many resources and very ingenious.

To carry out their work, the muleteers had to face dangerous and steep roads, suffering the inclement weather of the high mountains. Thanks to their great effort, they managed not only to improve their situation and that of their family, but also to connect one of the most isolated regions of the Colombian geography with the rest of the country.

The muleteers started in the activity from a very young age, performing the lowest level activities and through years of work and sacrifice they managed to forge a strength of character and a persistent personality that would help them withstand the demands of the profession and thus climb positions. all the way to leadership positions and even owning their own pack animals.

The muleteers contributed to the economic progress of the region, by linking it with the rest of the country, creating new roads with machetes that would lead to places that until then were inaccessible, but their greatest contribution is the creation of the Paisa culture, with their customs, their lifestyle, their forms of expression and creating the Paisa identity.

The Chapolera

La Chapolera is a Colombian peasant resident of the Coffee Region of the Paisa region and who is dedicated to harvesting coffee in the departments of Caldas, Risaralda, Quindío, and some municipalities in the North of Valle del Cauca. The chapolera is distinguished by its very indigenous style of dress and typical of the region and its activity. The chapolera name was given to them by the butterfly known by the name of Chapola that migrates to the coffee farms at harvest time.

By tradition, the Paisa woman dedicated herself to domestic chores, and it was only, in relatively recent times, after having overcome male chauvinist prejudices and achieved her liberation that the women of the region were able to dedicate themselves to coffee harvesting, an activity that Due to its nature, it has the implication of having to move between different regions and farms looking for where to provide their services as a collector.

In general, the costumes of the chapoleras have a knotted scarf on the head and a palm braid hat on top. The cotton blouse is white with short sleeves, with a high neckline and bolero, it generally has ornaments consisting of embroidery, ruches, saddlebags and different laces, when the blouse is worn with long sleeves these do not have any ornaments, only lace on the elbow .

The skirts are long, up to eight inches above the ankle, made of double-round printed cotton, the print usually features flowers and is adorned with lace trims. In the lower part she wears one or two boleros and always wears petticoats, the skirt is complemented by the use of an apron for protection. As footwear the chapoleras use espadrilles. Under the scarf the hair is combed in braids tied with ribbons, with long tendrils, candongas or earrings and a large flower in the hair.

She complements her outfit with a basket woven with thin rattan with two ears that are used to be attached to the waist, this basket is used to collect the coffee directly from the branches of the coffee tree and then take it to the storage site.

As a tribute to the Paisa woman and extolling the civic, social, cultural and family values ​​that she represents, every year in October the Reign of La Chapolera is held at the anniversary festivities of the city of Armenia.

Myths, legends and superstitions of the Paisa culture

In the Paisa culture there are infinite beliefs, which vary from community to community, since there is great variety; however, many of them are very common throughout the great Paisa region. Some of the most frequent are jet for evil eyes; opals to get rid of spells; the horn of the unicorn, the fang of the morrocoy, the nail of the great beast, the fang of the alligator, the eye of the deer, the nest of the macuá, the congolo and the covalonga and other magical elements of good luck.

The love filters of the town of Remedios have great fame and have become popular throughout the Department of Antioquia. Many popular myths, or protective gods of the mountains, rivers, towns and fields are typical of the Antioquian inhabitants and among the descendants of the Antioquian colonization.

The myths of the people of the mountain are generated from the thickness of the forests, in the sources of the rivers and streams, in the caves and lonely places of the mountains, many of these myths come from the time of the colonization of Antioquia and arise of the beliefs of the community of settlers.

Among the most widespread myths and legends is the Madremonte, which is the divinity of the mountains and jungles of Antioquia and Old Caldas; According to belief, she controls the winds, the rains and the entire plant environment. La Patasola, she is the goddess of the thickness of the virgin forest and in the steep peaks of the mountain ranges, she appears as a woman with a single leg that ends in a bovine hoof, but she can change according to circumstances.

The Hojarasquín of the forests, is typical of the jungles, which appears in various figures, being able to be as a person or as an animal, always covered with vines and ferns or taking the appearance of a tree man in movement. The Mother of the River is a nymph that appears in rivers, streams, lagoons and on seacoasts and chases children.

Other myths present in the Paisa culture refer to characters that have become popular over time and appear as ghosts both in the countryside and in the towns: la Llorona, el Patetarro, María la Larga, la Rodillona, ​​la Colmillona, ​​la Mechuda, the Green Lady, the Meneses, the embers, the girl from the letter, María Inés, María Pimpina, Mareco, the Guando or the Barbacoa del Muerto, the familiar, the witches, the goblins, the Mohán and many others.

Other ghosts have animal forms or represent mythological animals such as: the black dog, the Guaca boar, the three-legged mule, the black butterfly and others.

There are also legends within the Paisa culture that are based on historical figures such as the legends of Chief Nutibara and his brother Quinunchú; the legend of María Centeno, the mother of mining in Antioquia; the legend of the Castañeda family; Father López, the legendary priest and others.


The Madremonte is also known as the Honeysuckle, it is a character of the mythology of the Paisa culture but it is also found in the folklore of all Colombia, especially in Antioquia, the central and western Andes of Colombia, and the Magdalena and Cauca valleys. The belief of her comes from the deities of the ancient indigenous peoples where she represented Mother Earth.

The description that is given of her is very variable, as a monstrous feminine creature totally covered with intertwined mossy branches and vines, with shining eyes, other descriptions say that she is a very beautiful woman, with an elegant bearing and very well dressed, with a crown made with branches and plants. She is also described as a decrepit, bony old woman with very long limbs wearing a dress made of leaves.

According to some versions, it appears in the swamps or in the depths of the jungles when there are great storms and launches terrible screams that are heard above the noise of thunder. According to the belief of the mountaineers, when the waters of a river or stream become cloudy, it is because the Madremonte is bathing in them.

La Madremonte has the task of protecting the forests, caring for the flora and fauna. It harasses hunters, fishermen and woodcutters, it is said that it also persecutes unfaithful men, and those who dispute property boundaries. She goes out gracefully to take care of the mountains and the forests when the sun goes down and the songs of the daytime birds are no longer heard. When she surprises someone who disrespects her domain, she sneaks up on them and flirts with them and lures them into the thick of the jungle where she devours them.

His demeanor and his costume cast a spell on whoever looks at them and makes them lose themselves in the depths of the jungle. It attracts both adults and children. Bathing in rivers poisons their waters and transmits diseases. It can be rejected by facing it face to face, without showing fear and whipping it with tobacco branches.

The Madremonte is associated with the Dabaibe deity of the Catío, Nutabae and Chocoe peoples, in the mountains of the Antioquia region, it is also similar to the Pachamama of the Andes of Peru and Bolivia, the legends of María Lionza and the Capu in Venezuela, the aquatic deity Yara from the Amazon region, and the Caa Yurí in Brazil.

The Leaf Scratcher of the Mountain

The Hojarasquín del Monte is an anthropomorphic creature with the appearance of a man, a human head and a guayacán trunk, covered with chamizos, wild lichens and ferns. Some say it looks like a walking tree. Others say that it is a monstrous being with the head of an ass and the body of a man, there are even those who say that it is a huge, very hairy monkey with a body covered with dry leaves and moss.

The Hojarasquín del monte is in charge of taking care of the mountains, their wild plants and the animals that inhabit them. Through the screeching of the river swallows, he learns when a person with the intention of harming nature is approaching, and he knows what to do to protect it. The Mountain Scratch can make walkers in the forest, but when the walker has good intentions, the Scratch Leaf shows him the way back.

The Castaneda Family

In the celebrations of many regions of Colombia and especially in the region of Antioquia, there is a custom related to the Castañeda Family that symbolizes the unity of the family, the return to the land where they were born and many customs entrenched in tradition. family. This carnival troupe is strongly linked to the freedom of slaves that began in Antioquia in the mid-eighteenth century, where the Castañeda Family was very involved.

Sergeant Don Ignacio Castañeda and his wife Doña Javiera Londoño with the help of their gang of slaves began the exploitation of their mine which they called "Aventaderos de Guarzo" located in El Retiro in the Department of Antioquia. The Castañeda and Londoño husbands were famous for treating their slaves well, they treated them affectionately and lovingly, always ensuring their physical well-being and fair treatment.

Don Ignacio and Doña Javiera came to the decision, by mutual agreement, to grant their slaves their freedom, for which they left it in writing, stating it in their will. Upon the death of Sergeant Don Ignacio Castañeda in the city of Rionegro, his widow, Doña Javiera Londoño de Castañeda, freed one hundred and twenty-seven of his slaves. This eighteenth-century event is the first time it has taken place in all of America.

The one hundred and twenty-seven blacks who were freed received the last name of their former owners, Castañeda, and from that moment they made the commitment to celebrate the feast of the Virgen de los Dolores every year. At the end of each year the former slaves came to celebrate their obtained freedom and happily commemorate the day of their “Retirement” from slavery and being recognized for the first time as free men.

Freed blacks arrived from the most distant points of the geography of the region and formed the Castañeda Family. With love, pride and gratitude, they told orally what was already a legend, the story of Doña Javiera Londoño de Castañeda, the first to grant freedom to slaves in the entire history of America.

This meeting of the slaves who reached their freedom belonging to the Castañeda Family in El Retiro was what gave rise to the Fiesta de los Negritos, which as a tradition is celebrated every December and January.

The Patasola

According to a belief of the Paisa culture typical of the peasants of the Antioquia colonization in western Colombia. It is a monstrous, demonic and terrible creature that appears in the most tangled corners of the forests, of the virgin jungle and in the mountains of the mountain range of the region called Antioquia Grande.

The Patasola is a being of the jungles that appears with a single leg that ends in a bovine or bear hoof that leaves a trail placed upside down that confuses and disorients the animals that are persecuted. With its only leg it moves very quickly. In this unipedal being, the two thighs are united into a single leg. It is an evil apparition, with a ferocity similar to that of the furies of European mythology. She is an ally of wild animals that she defends from hunters and anyone who wants to harm them.

Cause terror among loggers, walkers, miners, and settlers. The patasol can change its appearance according to the circumstances. On some occasions she takes on the appearance of a woman with only one breast on her chest, bulging eyes, a huge mouth, fierce teeth, a hooked nose, tangled hair, full and fleshy lips, long arms and always with a single leg

Other times she transforms into a beautiful and attractive woman who deceives the unwary, invites them to follow her and leads them into the thickets and disorients them. At that moment she gives a terrible laugh and took the original appearance of her. Some witnesses say that they have heard the Patasola with terrible cries like those of a lost woman and when they find her she turns into a beast that launches herself at them.

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