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El Callao Carnaval
El Callao Carnaval


Calipso Music
Caribbean Influence
El Dorado
Gold Jewelry
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Same People translated to English by google

carnaval at - also leading a campaign to restore the Municipal Theater. Built in 1860, it has been the pride of Callao until recent times.  [+más] students at El Callao Carnival
El Callao by calypsoworld
Trinidadians also established steelbands along the coast of Venezuela.

maintaining efficient municipal services, generating opportunities for the citizens that elevate the quality of life.

State of Bolivar
State of Bolivar's

El Callao Carnival

Venezuela's most acclaimed Carnival for the great synthesis of cultures and symbol of the state of  Bolivar

wiki/Estado Bolívar

Bumbac, a type of drum with which calipso is played.

El Callao (in Estado Bolívar) has been a melting pot since it was founded as Caratal in 1853. It attracted gold-hunting adventurers from England, America, France and the Caribbean islands, who found release from endless hours of labour in the gold mines by letting go completely at carnival time. Their celebrations added to the festival fervor of the region's slaves, allowed to really enjoy and express themselves this one time in the year. Carnival has now become a four-day event in El Callao with thousands of tourists coming to enjoy the infectious energy of the Carnaval.

The musical and Carnival traditions brought from the British West Indies and French Antilles have evolved to today's distinctive sounds. You can still here the primitive rhythms of Kalinda and the first calypsos. The song stories narrating local events in a picaresque tone combines with the use of Venezuelan instruments such as maracas, bumbac drums that are hung of the shoulder with a strap, cuatros rallos, bells and whistles.

Caribbean Influence
Notable among the more traditionally attired dancers are the Madamas, who wear showy robes in the style of the matrons of Guadeloupe and Martinique, featuring distinctive African headscarves and the Devils - The Carnival in El Callao is known for its impulsive devils and their devil masks.

Besides the typical trident-wielding devils with hideous masks and red and black costumes, there are the local Mediopinto, who coat themselves in black paint and threaten to do the same to anyone who refuses to give them a donation.

Masks and other disguises are a central feature and many of these betray modern influences, such as Superman, El Zorro and Snow White (Blanca Nieves), to name but a few of the comic book and cartoon characters you might meet.


Fotos courtesy of

By 1925 the Carnaval had become such a central feature of the annual social calendar that it was noted that  an English shop called Weldon's was shipping great bulks through the postal system of Ciudad Bolívar. The embroidered fabrics, lavish silks and other lavish decorations were primarily orderd for the Carnival by blacks.

Caribbean Carnival is very close to this City. Many traditions, such as calypso from Trinidad, and the laborious dresses of the women of Guadalupe and Martinique, have set deep roots in this Carnaval tradition. Venezuelan calypso music, imported from Trinidad in the 1880s by immigrants arriving during a gold rush, has its own distinctive rhythms and lyrical style. Spelled calipso in Venezuela, the music has had major stars, including most famously VH.

Today, the black inhabitants of El Callao continue to enjoy their fancy dress at Carnival time, and with nearby Trinidad supplying a wide assortment of ingredients to make yourself over a regal figure, we all can see ourselves as kings or queens - if only for a day. Trinidad has also added calypso and soca music to this callaloo Carnival, fueling the processions of costumed dancers that wind around town for a number of days.

The 2nd 49er Gold Rush

In 1849 two gold prospectors were exploring brooks thousands of kilometers apart, yet they discovered gold virtually  simultaneously: in the foothills of the Sierra Nevavad, in a small town near Placerville about 135 miles from the West Coast USA capital San Francisco, and in the Yuruari river  about 135 miles upriver from from the alternative capital of Venezuela then known as Angostura. The former triggered the greatest coming together of cultures ever recorded on the planet, while  news of the richness of gold discovered near El Callou on the Yuruari was spread more slowly. It was not until samples had been examined in 1853 in New York, Paris, London and Hamburg that the Caratel gold rush began.

By 1885 El Callou was the world's leading gold producer. The first gold rush was over by 1899. Much gold mining continues in the El Callao area today, as international mining companies seek new ore in several large gold deposits

El Callao has tours to visit an old gold mine in Galerías. You'll go underground to the gold mine and learn about the extraction and transformation process

Is El Callao Carnaval the long sought home of
 El Dorado?

El Dorado, a mythical city of gold (sometimes called the "Lost City of Gold")  was sought by adventurers in South America. The myth began in the 1530s, in the Andes of present-day Colombia, where conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada first found the Muisca people of Colombia, who each year anointed a chieftain and rolled him in gold, which he then ceremonially washed off in a sacred lake, casting offerings of emeralds and gold into the waters at the same time. The Muisca towns and their treasures quickly fell to the conquistadores. Taking stock of their newly won territory, the Spaniards realized that — in spite of the quantity of gold in the hands of the Indians — there were no golden cities, nor even rich mines, since the Muiscas obtained all their gold in trade.

Meanwhile, the name of El Dorado came to be used metaphorically for any place where wealth could be rapidly acquired. El Dorado is also sometimes used as a metaphor to represent an ultimate prize or "Holy Grail" that one might spend their life seeking. It could represent true love, heaven, happiness, or success. It is used sometimes as a figure of speech to represent something much sought after that may not even exist, or at least may not ever be found.
In short, it is about achieving our dreams if only for a fleeting moment in space and time---like we do during Carnival.

WHEN: A 7 day Carnaval beginning the Thursday before Ash Wednesday. When  leading Carnaval Group, The Same People crown their Queen.

El Callao is 273km from Ciudad Bolivar, reachable along Carretera Truncal 10, via Upata.


On the right bank of the Yuruari River, about 180 km (108 miles) southeast of Ciudad Guayana or Puerto Ordaz, in the Venezuelan Guiana Highlands. 

Gold Jewelry

El Callo is well known for its gold mines and many jewelry shops with  lovely charms created by skilled goldsmiths.
is the intricate adornment made using gold or other precious metals. This is some of the earliest artistry preserved, as it has been practiced for thousands of years on most continents and often preserved by being buried with the dead or by temple priests. El Callou supports a notable Orfebreria industry of gold jewelry artisans.
Calipso Music


Click a CD to listen to Calipso musicaD to play
The Same People, as well as the Carnaval, remain always proud of the past, but also adapt to the present. Manifestations that are created are forgotten, only to rise again in the extraordinary  space and the time that Carnaval provides to connect with our true selves.

Last Update: NOV2006 || Main Page: