La Marimonda

The appearance of this costume in “El Carnaval de Barranquilla” dates back to the beginning of the 20th century as the carnival was gaining popularity in Colombia. Its said to have been created by a man of little money. Not being able to dress in the fancy costumes afforded to people of better means, he grabbed an empty sack of grain to create a hooded mask. With some old pillow cases and foam he created huge eyes, ears, a mouth, a nose and attached them to the sack.

My sister and her friends enjoying the festivities. On the left you can see how the marimonda costume is worn today.

He completed his costume with a vest put on backwards, pants with colorful patches, socks for gloves and a big long tie (his way of sticking it to the man, i.e. the government officials in their fancy suits who would only show up to work to collect their salaries). The costume in essence was seen as obnoxious and vulgar since it aimed at poking fun at the upper class. It didn’t gain much popularity until the early 80s when it was brought back in full force by Cesar Morales and his colleagues creating the “Comparsa Las Marimondas de Barrio Abajo” one of the biggest and well organized groups that take part in the festivities to date. Today’s marimonda costume is a lot fancier compared to its predecessor and now it aims to show off the festive and colorful attitude of the people of Barranquilla, Curramba la Bella.


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