El torito is one of the most traditional costumes/dances of the Carnaval de Barranquilla. The dance is of african origin and consists of a group of dancers dancing to the beat of drums. The tradition was founded by Elias Fontalvo on January 20, 1878. This dance forms part of a series of dances called “danzas negras” or “congos”. When Elias was 12 years old he was denied participation to the “danza el toro grande” (dance of the big bull) because of his age. So he decided to start his own group with a few of his friends. He led the group until 1930 and handed the reign over to his son.
The Costume consists of a bright colored satin jumpsuit like outfit, along with a giant mask of a bulls head painted in a variety of colors, with bells and ribbons/bandanas hanging from each horn.