Palmero or Pavero – Field Notes from Colombia

The following is an account derived from field notes taken in August 2012 in the Department of Bolivar, Colombia 

It was a hot, humid Sunday evening when the residents of a small remote village in the heart of the Magdalena Medio were gathering on the main village square. A traditional rural Vallenato band was about to utter their religious lyrics guided by the typical melodic accordion. Supported by amplifiers and microphones the music soon dinned through the entire village. The disproportion of this technological array considering the very few households that could afford an actual electrical lamp, let alone running water, clearly contributed to the enthusiastic atmosphere of the audience. Children were running around, squeaking out of pure excitement and adults enjoyed chatting and probably having one drink too many.

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