Bomba is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of musical styles and associated dances originating in Puerto Rico. It was developed by enslaved Africans and their descendants in sugar plantations along coastal towns, most notably Loiza, Mayagüez, Ponce, and San Juan, during the 17th century. It is the island’s oldest musical tradition.Bomba reflects a syncretism of Puerto Rico’s many cultural groups. It incorporates Taíno instruments such as the maraca; characteristics from traditional European dances like rigadoons, quadrilles and mazurkas; and drum ensembles and drummer/dancer interaction that bear close resemblance to a number of West African musical styles. The music also evolved through contact between enslaved populations from different Caribbean colonies and regions, including the Dutch colonies, Cuba, Santo Domingo, and Haiti.

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