Culture of El Salvador

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Young Salvadoran man singing and playing guitar Casa Abierta-Familia Campesinas duenos de tierras. (25191777792).jpg
Young Salvadoran man singing and playing guitar
Folk dance of El Salvador, in which a traditional dress is worn. Debut de la Compania Infantil de Teatro La Colmenita de El Salvador. (24314705069).jpg
Folk dance of El Salvador, in which a traditional dress is worn.
Salvadoran School Children from Metapan Salvadorianchildren.JPG
Salvadoran School Children from Metapan

The culture of El Salvador is a Central American culture nation influenced by the clash of ancient Mesoamerica and medieval Iberian Peninsula. Salvadoran culture is influenced by Native American culture (Lenca people, Cacaopera people, Maya peoples, Pipil people) as well as Latin American culture (Latin America, Hispanic America, Ibero-America). Mestizo culture and the Catholic Church dominates the country. Although the Romance language, Castilian Spanish, is the official and dominant language spoken in El Salvador, Salvadoran Spanish which is part of Central American Spanish has influences of Native American languages of El Salvador such as Lencan languages, Cacaopera language, Mayan languages and Pipil language, which are still spoken in some regions of El Salvador.

Central America central geographic region of the Americas

Central America is located on the southern tip of North America, or is sometimes defined as a subcontinent of the Americas, bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The combined population of Central America has been estimated to be 41,739,000 and 42,688,190.

Mesoamerica Cultural area in the Americas

Mesoamerica is a historical region and cultural area in North America. It extends from approximately central Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica, and within this region pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas. In the 16th century, European diseases like smallpox and measles caused the deaths of upwards of 90% of the indigenous people. It is one of five areas in the world where ancient civilization arose independently, and the second in the Americas along with Norte Chico (Caral-Supe) in present-day Peru, in the northern coastal region.

Iberian Peninsula Peninsula located in southwest Europe

The Iberian Peninsula, also known as Iberia, is located in the southwest corner of Europe. The peninsula is principally divided between Spain and Portugal, comprising most of their territory. It also includes Andorra, small areas of France, and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. With an area of approximately 596,740 square kilometres (230,400 sq mi)), it is both the second largest European peninsula by area, after the Scandinavian Peninsula, and by population, after the Balkan Peninsula.

Contents

Country Symbols

TypeSymbolYearImage
Anthem National Anthem of El Salvador
1879
Flag and Coat of arms Coat of arms of El Salvador and Flag of El Salvador
1912 Nuvola Salvadoran flag.svg
Color Cobalt Blue and White
1912 Cobalt Blue.JPG
Bird Turquoise-browed motmot
1999 Turquoise-browed Motmot (6900632444).jpg
Art La Palma style Art
Palmaarte.jpg
Music Xuc
Students give a dancing performance during a closing ceremony at Escuela de Educacion Parvularia Maria Luisa Marcia in La Union, El Salvador, Feb 110224-N-EC642-303.jpg
National Dish Pupusa
Pupusas (1).jpg
Flower Yucca gigantea
2003 Yucca elephantipes HRM2.JPG
Tree Tabebuia rosea
1939 Maquilishuat en flor.jpg
UNESCO World Heritage Site Joya de Ceren
1993 Ceren (8) sm (4290048784).jpg
Patron and National Personification Monumento al Divino Salvador del Mundo
SalvadorDelMundo.jpg

Native land

First official map of El Salvador 1859 Primer Mapa Oficial de El Salvador.jpg
First official map of El Salvador 1859
Modern El Salvador map El Salvador Departments Map Mapa Departamentos El Salvador.png
Modern El Salvador map

Salvadorans inhabit the lush Central American nation of El Salvador. El Salvador is one of the seven country in the giant isthmus of Central America. The surface of El Salvador features tropical forest, jungles, mountains, volcanoes, plains (savanna), rivers, lagoons, lakes, calderas and the pacific ocean. The forests of El Salvador contain a wide diversity of flora and fauna. El Salvador is a home to ecosystems, biomes, living, nonliving natural resources and also home to a plethora of diverse species. In terms of nonliving resources, El Salvador contains rich volcanic soil, fertile earth that gives life to lush vegetation. Native vegetation such as Yucca gigantea, Cassava, Fernaldia pandurata and Crotalaria longirostrata which are used in Salvadoran food. El Salvador also contains gold under its surface, however all type of mining has been abolished in El Salvador. The Native American indigenous ancestors of Salvadorans, have been living in the region for thousands of years. El Salvador is periodically hit with earthquakes and tropical storms, occasionally but rarely by cyclones.

El Salvador country in Central America

El Salvador, officially the Republic of El Salvador, is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. It is bordered on the northeast by Honduras, on the northwest by Guatemala, and on the south by the Pacific Ocean. El Salvador's capital and largest city is San Salvador. As of 2016, the country had a population of approximately 6.34 million.

<i>Yucca gigantea</i> species of plant

Yucca gigantea is a species of flowering plant in the asparagus family, native to Mexico and Central America. Growing up to 8–12 m (26–39 ft) in height, it is an evergreen shrub which is widely cultivated as an ornamental garden or house plant often being called just Yucca Cane.

Cassava Species of plant

Manihot esculenta, commonly called cassava, manioc, yuca, macaxeira, mandioca and aipim is a woody shrub native to South America of the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. Although a perennial plant, cassava is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates. Though it is often called yuca in Latin American Spanish and in the United States, it is not related to yucca, a shrub in the family Asparagaceae. Cassava is predominantly consumed in boiled form, but substantial quantities are used to extract cassava starch, called tapioca, which is used for food, animal feed and industrial purposes. The Brazilian farinha, and the related garri of Western Africa, is an edible coarse flour obtained by grating cassava roots, pressing moisture off the obtained grated pulp, and finally drying it.

Languages

Linguistic variations of classic Central American Spanish. Like most countries in Central America, Salvadoran Spanish uses voseo Espanol centroamericano.png
Linguistic variations of classic Central American Spanish. Like most countries in Central America, Salvadoran Spanish uses voseo

In El Salvador, the official language is Central American Spanish. Less than one percent of the population speaks the Pipil language, in places such as Izalco and several other towns. [1] However, there is no obligation academically or socially today to learn it, and the language is more commonly spoken by the elderly. Amongst the pre-Columbia languages that still exist common to places such as Izalco and Cacaopera is Nawat Pipil. English is taught as a second language and is commonly spoken by business people, as the country is developing through globalization.

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Pipil language language

Pipil is a Uto-Toltec or Uto-Nahuan language native to Central America. It is the southernmost extant member of the Uto-Aztecan family. It was spoken in several parts of present-day Central America before the Spanish conquest, but now is mostly confined to western El Salvador. It has been on the verge of extinction in El Salvador and has already gone extinct elsewhere in Central America, but as of 2012 new second language speakers are starting to appear.

Izalco Municipality in Sonsonate, El Salvador

Izalco is a municipality in the Sonsonate department of El Salvador. Volcan Izalco is an icon of the country of El Salvador, a very young Volcano on the flank of Santa Ana volcano. From when it was born in 1770 until 1966, it was in almost continuous eruption and was known as the "lighthouse of the Pacific." Since then it has been nearly inactive.

Salvadoran Spanish

Central American Spanish is spoken by the majority of the country's population. The language and pronunciation vary depending on the region.

Central American Spanish Spanish dialect family

Central American Spanish is the general name of the Spanish language dialects spoken in Central America. More precisely, the term refers to the Spanish language as spoken in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Although Panama is part of Central America, Panamanian Spanish is classified as a variety of Caribbean Spanish.

Sports

Salvadoran baseball players Seleccion salvadorena de beisbol.jpg
Salvadoran baseball players

The main sport played by Salvadorans is association football. The Estadio Cuscatlán in the capital San Salvador is the largest stadium in Central America, with a capacity of just over 45,000. The stadium is the home ground of the El Salvador national football team, as well as club teams Alianza FC and San Salvador F.C.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Estadio Cuscatlán football stadium

The Estadio Cuscatlán is a football stadium located in San Salvador, El Salvador. It is the largest stadium in Central America with a capacity of 53,400 The stadium is the home ground of the El Salvador national football team.

San Salvador National capital in San Salvador Department, El Salvador

San Salvador is the capital and the most populous city of El Salvador and its eponymous department. It is the country's political, cultural, educational and financial center. The Metropolitan Area of San Salvador which comprises the capital itself and 13 of its municipalities has a population of 2,404,097.

The main football clubs in El Salvador play in the Primera División , which is made up of the top ten clubs. Below the Primera División exists a second level or Segunda División , made up of 24 teams split into two groups of twelve. There is promotion and relegation between the two divisions at the end of each season.

Religion

Religious background in El Salvador
ReligionPercent
Roman Catholic
47%
ProtestantEvangelical
33%
None
17%
Other
3%
The iconic Jesus statue Monumento al Divino Salvador del Mundo, a landmark located in the country's capital, San Salvador. SalvadorDelMundo.jpg
The iconic Jesus statue Monumento al Divino Salvador del Mundo, a landmark located in the country's capital, San Salvador.

The Catholic Church has been the most prominent religious institution in El Salvador since colonial times, with nearly 75% of the population identifying as Roman Catholic. Reformed churches like Anglican, Lutheran, Pentecostal, and Baptists have experienced significant growth since the 1970s. Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses are also experiencing growth in the nation. Today, nearly 20% of the population belongs to one of these churches. Today, over 40% of El Salvador is Evangelical Christian. Small communities of Muslims, Jews, and Buddhists also exist in some parts of the country.

Costumes relating to religion

In El Salvador, there are different costumes used mostly in religious or other festivals, although in some of the older towns, they are still worn regularly. In female clothing, it is common to see elements like a scapular, a shawl, and a cotton headscarf with different coloured adornments. [2] These can be worn with a skirt and a blouse, or with a dress. The normal footwear is sandals. With male clothing, it is common to see a cotton suit or a cotton shirt, worn with modern jeans, sandals or boots, and a cowboy hat. However, these are rural fashions, and there can be many variations depending on the area.Also, 100% cotton shirts are commonly used (also known as guayaberas). [3]

Music

The music of El Salvador has a mixture of Lenca, Maya, Cacaopera, Pipil and Spanish influences. This music includes religious songs (mostly used to celebrate Christmas and other holidays, especially feast days of the saints). Satirical and rural lyrical themes are common. Cuban, Colombian, and Mexican music has infiltrated the country, especially salsa and cumbia . Popular music in El Salvador uses Xylophone, tehpe'ch, flutes, drums, scrapers and gourds, as well as more recently imported guitars and other instruments. El Salvador's well known folk dance is known as Xuc which originated in Cojutepeque, Cuscatlan. Other musical repertoire consists of danza, pasillo, marcha and canciones.

Hammocks

El Salvador is a hammock cultured country, and a large producer and exporter of hammocks. The valley in which San Salvador City sits upon is dubbed "The Valley of the Hammocks" because the Native Americans, used hammocks to repel constant earthquakes. Later, the colonizing Spaniards used the term as an allusion of earthquakes constantly rocking the valley where San Salvador City is, like a hammock. Hammocks are a big part of Salvadoran culture and are often used for afternoon naps. Hammocks swing from doorways, inside living rooms, on porches, in outdoor courtyards, and from trees. Just about everywhere a hammock can be seen hung in all social classes of Salvadoran homes. It is completely socially acceptable to lay around in a hammock all day in this Central American country, that hammocks can be seen from the most humble rural home, to the most prestigious city hotel chains, where there are the colorful and comfortable hammocks. To honor such a pleasure craft, the municipality of "Concepcion Quezaltepeque" celebrates its traditional Hammocks Festival, where artisans produce and sell hammocks as a tradition that begun in 1989 and has been celebrated every year since then, between the first and second weekend of November, it is “The Festival of the Hammocks”. Hammocks are sold in every corner in towns and cities.

Native American Heritage

Lithic era

Humanoid petroglyph in Holy Spirit Grotto (corinto cave), Morazan, El Salvador. Pinturas Rupestres Corinto Morazan 06.JPG
Humanoid petroglyph in Holy Spirit Grotto (corinto cave), Morazan, El Salvador.
Petroglyphs in Holy Spirit Grotto (corinto cave), Morazan, El Salvador. Pinturas Rupestres Corinto Morazan.JPG
Petroglyphs in Holy Spirit Grotto (corinto cave), Morazan, El Salvador.

El Salvador was inhabited by Paleo-Indians, the first peoples who subsequently inhabited, the Americas during the glacial episodes of the late Pleistocene period. Their intriguing paintings (the earliest of which date from 8000 BC) can still be seen and marveled at in caves outside the towns of Corinto and Cacaopera, both in Morazán. Originating in the Paleolithic period, these cave paintings exhibit the earliest traces of human life in El Salvador; these early Native Americans people used the cave as a refuge, Paleoindian artists created cave and rock paintings that are located in present-day El Salvador.

The Lencas later occupied the cave and utilised it as a spiritual place. Other ancient petroglyphs called piedras pintadas (rock paintings) include la Piedra Pintada in San Jose Villanueva, La Libertad and the piedra pintada in San Isidro, Cabañas. The rock petroglyphs in San Jose Villanueva near a cave in (Walter Thilo Deininger National Park) are similar to other ancient rock petroglyph around the country. Regarding the style of the engravings it has been compared by with the petroglyphs of La Peña Herrada (Cuscatlán), el Letrero del Diablo (La Libertad) and la Peña de los Fierros (San Salvador). We can add to the list the sites in Titihuapa, the Cave of Los Fierros and La Cuevona both in ( Cuscatlán ).

Archaic Period

Native Americans appeared in the Pleistocene era and became the dominant people in the Lithic stage, developing in the Archaic period in North America to the Formative stage, occupying this position for thousands of years until their demise at the end of the 15th and 16th century, spanning the time of the original arrival in the Upper Paleolithic to European colonization of the Americas during the early modern period.

About 40,000 years ago the ancestors of the indigenous people of the Americas split from the rest of the world following the Pleistocene megafauna and then they flourish mightily, evolving in the Americas, from the Lithic stage to the Post-Classic stage, which was brought into an abrupt end about 525 years ago with the infamous mass genocide and cultural extinction caused by Europeans intrusion into the Americas, bringing deaseses and colonizing the Americas with warfare, terrorism, extremists radical Christianity and mass massacres. Only some Native American indigenous groups survived that catastrophe, most of them in Mexico, Central America and South America, with Salvadoran indigenous being one of many who have given rise to all modern Native Americans still alive today.

Mesoamerican-Isthmus cultures

This was Central America at the time the Native Americans roamed the lush and fertile isthmus. The arrival of the Europeans changed these cultures with colonization, hitting the local population with warfare, oppression and deaseases. The indigenous population was powerless to recuperate for centuries. Centroamerica prehispanica siglo XVI.svg
This was Central America at the time the Native Americans roamed the lush and fertile isthmus. The arrival of the Europeans changed these cultures with colonization, hitting the local population with warfare, oppression and deaseases. The indigenous population was powerless to recuperate for centuries.
Typical traditional indigenous houses, Ahuachapan Indigenous houses in El Salvador.png
Typical traditional indigenous houses, Ahuachapan
Indigenous Salvadoran woman from Panchimalco. Las Palmas estampa.JPG
Indigenous Salvadoran woman from Panchimalco.
Map of El Salvador's Native American civilizations and their former kingdoms:
Kingdom of the Lenca people
Kingdom of the Cacaopera people
Kingdom of the Xinca people
Kingdom Maya Poqomam people
Kingdom of Maya Ch'orti' people
Kingdom of the Alaguilac people
Kingdom of the Mixe people
Kingdom of the Mangue language
Kingdom of the Pipil people NATIVE AMERICAN INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF EL SALVADOR IN CENTRAL AMERICA ISTHMUS.png
Map of El Salvador's Native American civilizations and their former kingdoms:
  Kingdom of the Lenca people
  Kingdom of the Cacaopera people
  Kingdom of the Xinca people
  Kingdom Maya Poqomam people
  Kingdom of Maya Ch'orti' people
  Kingdom of the Alaguilac people
  Kingdom of the Mixe people
  Kingdom of the Mangue language
  Kingdom of the Pipil people

Historically El Salvador has had diverse Native American cultures, coming from the north and south of the continent along with local populations mixed together. El Salvador belongs to both to the Mesoamerican region in the western part of the country, and to the Isthmo-Colombian Area in the eastern part of the country, where a myriad of indigenous societies have lived side by side for centuries with their unique cultures and speaking different indigenous languages of the Americas in the beginning of the Classic stage.

The Lenca people are an indigenous people of eastern El Salvador where population today is estimated at about 37,000. The Lenca was a matriarchal society and was one of the first civilizations to develop in El Salvador and were the first major civilization in the country. The pre-Conquest Salvadoran Lenca had frequent contact with various Maya groups as well as other indigenous peoples of Central America. The origin of Lenca populations has been a source of ongoing debate amongst anthropologists and historians. Throughout the regions of Lenca occupation, Lenca pottery is a very distinguishable form of Pre-Columbian art. Handcrafted by Lenca women, Lenca pottery is considered an ethnic marking of their culture. Some scholars have suggested that the Lenca migrated to the Central American region from South America around 3,000 years ago, making it the oldest civilization in El Salvador. Guancasco is the annual ceremony by which Lenca communities, usually two, gather to establish reciprocal obligations in order to confirm peace and friendship. Quelepa is a major site in eastern El Salvador. Its pottery shows strong similarities to ceramics found in central western El Salvador and the Maya highlands. The Lenca sites of Yarumela, Los Naranjos in Honduras, and Quelepa in El Salvador, all contain evidence of the Usulután-style ceramics.

The Cacaopera people are an indigenous people in El Salvador who are also known as the Matagalpa or Ulua. Cacaopera people spoke the Cacaopera language, a Misumalpan language. Cacaopera is an extinct language belonging to the Misumalpan family, formerly spoken in the department of Morazán in El Salvador. It was closely related to Matagalpa, and slightly more distantly to Sumo, but was geographically separated from other Misumalpan languages.

The Xinca people, also known as the Xinka, are a non-Mayan indigenous people of Mesoamerica, with communities in the western part of El Salvador near its border. The Xinka may have been among the earliest inhabitants of western El Salvador, predating the arrival of the Maya and the Pipil. The Xinca ethnic group became extinct in the Mestizo process.

El Salvador has two Maya groups, the Poqomam people and the Ch'orti' people. The Poqomam are a Maya people in western El Salvador near its border. Their indigenous language is also called Poqomam. The Ch'orti' people (alternatively, Ch'orti' Maya or Chorti) are one of the indigenous Maya peoples, who primarily reside in communities and towns of northern El Salvador. The Maya once dominated the entire western portion of El Salvador, up until the eruption of the lake ilopango super volcano. Mayan ruins are the most widely conserved in El Salvador and artifacts such as Maya ceramics Mesoamerican writing systems Mesoamerican calendars and Mesoamerican ballgame can be found in all Maya ruins in El Salvador which include Tazumal, San Andrés, El Salvador, Casa Blanca, El Salvador, Cihuatan, and Joya de Ceren.

Alaguilac people were a former indigenous group located on northern El Salvador. Their language is unclassified. The Alagüilac language is an undocumented indigenous American language that is now extinct. The Alaguilac ethnic group became extinct during the Mestizo process.

The Mixe people is an indigenous group that inhabited the western borders of El Salvador. They spoke the Mixe languages which are classified in the Mixe–Zoque family, The Mixe languages are languages of the Mixean branch of the Mixe–Zoquean language family. The Mixe ethnic group became extinct during the Mestizo process.

El Salvador has two Nahua peoples, The Mangue language people and the Pipil people. The Mangue people, also known as Chorotega, are an extinct Oto-Manguean language people, indigenous to eastern El Salvador border, near the gulf. The Pipils are an indigenous people who live in western El Salvador. Their language is called Nahuat or Pipil, related to the Toltec people of the Nahuatl Nation and were speakers of early Nahuatl languages. However, in general, their mythology is more closely related to the Maya mythology, who are their near neighbors and by oral tradition said to have been adopted by Ch'orti' and Poqomam Mayan people during the Pipil exodus in the 9th century CE. The culture lasted until the Spanish conquest, at which time they still maintained their Nawat language, despite being surrounded by the Maya in western El Salvador. By the time the Spanish arrived, Pipil and Poqomam Maya settlements were interspersed throughout western El Salvador. The Pipil are known as the last indigenous civilization to arrive in El Salvador, being the least oldest and were a determined people who stoutly resisted Spanish efforts to extend their dominion southward. The Pipil are direct descendants of the Toltecs, but not of the Aztecs.

Evidence of Olmec civilization presence in western El Salvador can be found in the ruin sites of Chalchuapa in the Ahuachapan department. Olmec petroglyphs can be found on boulders in Chalchuapa portraying Omlec warriors with helmets identical to those found on the Olmec colossal heads. This suggest that the area was once an Olmec enclave, before fading away for unknown reasons. The Olmecs are believed to have lived in present-day El Salvador as early as 2000 BC. The 'Olmec Boulder, ' is a sculpture of a giant head found near Casa Blanca, El Salvador site in Las Victorias near Chalchuapa. "Olmecoid" figurins such as the Potbelly sculpture have been found through this area, in fact most are described as looking primeval proto-Olmec.

Modern Native American people

According to the Salvadoran Government, about 0.23% of the population are of full indigenous origin. The largest most dominant Native American groups in El Salvador are the Lenca people, Cacaopera people, Maya peoples: (Poqomam people/Chorti people) and Pipil people.

The number of indigenous people in El Salvador have been criticized by indigenous organizations and academics as too small and accuse the government of denying the existence of indigenous Salvadorans in the country. According to the National Salvadoran Indigenous Coordination Council (CCNIS) and CONCULTURA (National Council for Art and Culture at the Ministry of Education ), approximately 600,000 or 10 per cent of Salvadorian peoples are indigenous. Nonetheless, very few natives have retained their customs and traditions, having over time assimilated into the dominant Mestizo/Spanish culture. The low numbers of indigenous people may be partly explained by historically high rates of old-world diseases, absorption into the mestizo population, as well as mass murder during the 1932 Salvadoran peasant uprising (or La Matanza) which saw (estimates of) up to 30,000 peasants killed in a short period of time. The 1932 Salvadoran peasant massacre occurred on January 22 of that year, in the western departments of El Salvador when a brief peasant-led rebellion was suppressed by the government, then led by Maximiliano Hernández Martínez. The Salvadoran army, being vastly superior in terms of weapons and soldiers, executed those who stood against it. The rebellion was a mixture of protest and insurrection and ended in ethnocide, claiming the lives of anywhere between 10,000 and 40,000 peasants and other civilians, many of them indigenous people. Many authors note that since La Matanza the indigenous in El Salvador have been very reluctant to describe themselves as such (in census declarations for example) or to wear indigenous dress or be seen to be taking part in any cultural activities or customs that might be understood as indigenous. Departments and cities in the country with notable indigenous populations include Sonsonate (especially Izalco, Nahuizalco, and Santo Domingo), Cacaopera, and Panchimalco, in the department of San Salvador

The Salvadoran Cabalgador (Cowboy)

Typical Salvadoran machete Prunk-Machete El Salvador Zucker-Museum.jpg
Typical Salvadoran machete
The Salvadoran president and military cavalryman Gerardo Barrios depicted as a Cabalgador. He was a liberal and supported the unity of Central America. From a young age he was part of the army of the last president of the Federation of Central American Estates, Francisco Morazan. Estatua de Gerardo Barrios.jpg
The Salvadoran president and military cavalryman Gerardo Barrios depicted as a Cabalgador. He was a liberal and supported the unity of Central America. From a young age he was part of the army of the last president of the Federation of Central American Estates, Francisco Morazán.
President of El Salvador General Tomas Regalado Romero, on a horse holding an older version of El Salvador flag. El Asalto Final.jpg
President of El Salvador General Tomás Regalado Romero, on a horse holding an older version of El Salvador flag.
A Salvadoran guerrilla in Perquin 1990 ERP combatants Perquin 1990 33.jpg
A Salvadoran guerrilla in Perquin 1990
Salvadoran riders in Quezaltepeque, La Libertad Fiesta en canton El Ahuacate,Quezaltepeque. - panoramio.jpg
Salvadoran riders in Quezaltepeque, La Libertad

A Cabalgador (Spanish: Cavalry, Horseman, Horserider) is a Salvadoran horse-mounted livestock herder (cowboy) of a tradition that originated on the Iberian Peninsula and was brought to Central America by Spanish settlers. It has deep historic roots tracing back to Spain and the earliest European settlers of the Americas. Cabalgador is a Spanish word for a horseman rider and herder. It derives from Cabalgar and Cabalgadura meaning "rider". Early Cabalgadores in El Salvador were originally a mixture of part Spanish and American Indigenous, Mestizo, Indigenous and Pardo men who lived in the countryside and had a strong culture which has shaped El Salvador's over all distinctive rural culture, tradition, folklore, and music, having a strong rural countryside culture. The origins of the Cabagador tradition in El Salvador come from Spain, beginning with the hacienda system of medieval Spain. This style of cattle ranching spread throughout much of the Iberian peninsula and later, was imported to the Americas. During the 16th century, the Conquistadors and other Spanish settlers brought their cattle-raising traditions as well as both horses and domesticated cattle to the Americas.

The traditions of Spain were transformed by the geographic, environmental and cultural circumstances. In turn, the land and people of the Americas also saw dramatic changes due to Spanish influence. In El Salvador's case, a massive, almost complete deforestation to make way for agriculture and animal herding, El Salvador lost virtually all of its primary rain forests. The Spanish haciendas which in El Salvador's case were owned by a military middle class and wealthy military cavalry Spaniards who spoke in voseo, a Spanish speech that originates from medieval Spain, this way of speech is used by all Salvadorans today, Salvadoran Spanish which has shaped and defined Salvadorian-ism dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

Among common horse riders, there were also military and police Cavalry troopers called (Guardias) National Guard (El Salvador) who were infamously feared due to their abuse and unlimited use of power over the population, patrolling the rural areas keeping order. The Cabalgadores would prove to be vital up until the mid 20th century, especially for the military and the campesinos who would be influenced by the revolution, most of the guerrillas in El Salvador's civil war, were poor citizens who rode horses in the rural mountains.

Today being a Cabalgador is a symbol and idealized representative of machismo, virility and a display of either chauvinism but also with vestiges of chivalrous attitudes. They also are seen as poor campesinos (peasants), and are seen as people without manners or lacking the sophistication of an urbanite, akin to a redneck. However, being a campesino is also used in a neutral or positive context or self-descriptively with pride because it describes a humble and hard worker person.

Most male children in El Salvador as young as five are raised and began working in a cowboy atmosphere, working on ranches along with their fathers and older members of the family learning about agriculture and livestock, herding animals throughout much of El Salvador tending cattle, in an all-male environment which have also retain the machismo culture in El Salvador. Most men in El Salvador, particularly in the towns in the rural countryside including mayors wear elements of cowboy clothing. Cabalgadores in El Salvador dress in cowboy hats and carry machetes also known as Corbos in El Salvador, and they listen to nueva canción guitar type music.

Notable Salvadoran people

See also

Related Research Articles

Demographics of El Salvador

This article is about the demographic features of the population of El Salvador, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

The history of El Salvador begins with several Mesoamerican nations, especially the Cuzcatlecs, as well as the Lenca and Maya. In the early 16th century, the Spanish Empire conquered the territory, incorporating it into the Viceroyalty of New Spain ruled from Mexico City. In 1821, the country achieved independence from Spain as part of the First Mexican Empire, only to further secede as part of the Federal Republic of Central America two years later. Upon the republic's dissolution in 1841, El Salvador became sovereign until forming a short-lived union with Honduras and Nicaragua called the Greater Republic of Central America, which lasted from 1895 to 1898.

The Huastec or Téenek, are an indigenous people of Mexico, living in the La Huasteca region including the states of Hidalgo, Veracruz, San Luis Potosí and Tamaulipas concentrated along the route of the Pánuco River and along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Mestizo race

Mestizo is a term traditionally used in Spain, Latin America and the Philippines that originally referred to a person of combined European and Indigenous American descent, regardless of where the person was born. The term was used as an ethnic/racial category in the casta system that was in use during the Spanish Empire's control of its American and Asian colonies. Nowadays though, particularly in Spanish America, mestizo has become more of a cultural term, with culturally mainstream Latin Americans regarded or termed as mestizos regardless of their actual ancestry and with the term Indian being reserved exclusively for people who have maintained a separate indigenous ethnic identity, language, tribal affiliation, etc. Consequently, today, the vast majority of Spanish-speaking Latin Americans are regarded as mestizos.

Mayan languages language family spoken in Mesoamerica

The Mayan languages form a language family spoken in Mesoamerica and northern Central America. Mayan languages are spoken by at least 6 million Maya peoples, primarily in Guatemala, Mexico, Belize and Honduras. In 1996, Guatemala formally recognized 21 Mayan languages by name, and Mexico recognizes eight more within its territory.

Pipil people ethnic group

The Pipils or Cuzcatlecs are an indigenous people who live in western El Salvador, which they call Cuzcatlan. Their language is called Nahuat or Pipil, related to the Toltec people of the Nahuatl Nation. The Pipil language is a Uto-Toltec or Uto-Nicarao dialect of the Nahuan languages branch, a dialect chain that stretches from Utah in the United States down through El Salvador to Nicaragua in Central America. The name of the language family was created to show that it includes the greatest extent perimeter from the Ute language of Utah, to the former Toltec predecessor and the expanse margin Pipil-Nicarao successors. Evidence from archeology and ethnohistory also supports the southward diffusion thesis, especially that speakers of early Nahuatl languages migrated from northern Mexican deserts into central Mexico in several waves. Their mythology, however, is more closely related to the mythology of the Maya peoples, who are their near neighbors, and by oral tradition said to have been adopted by Ch'orti' and Poqomam Mayan people during the Pipil exodus in the 9th century CE, led by Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl.

Music of El Salvador

The music of El Salvador has a mixture of Lenca, Cacaopera, Mayan, Pipil, and Spanish influences. This music includes religious songs used to celebrate Christmas and other holidays, especially feast days of the saints with Tubular bells Chimes. Satirical and rural lyrical themes are common and played with Xylophone.

Central American music

Central America is dominated by the popular Latin music, or Black Caribbean trends, including salsa, cumbia, mariachi, reggae, calypso and nueva canción. The countries of Central America have produced their own distinct forms of these genres such as Panamanian salsa, among others. One of the well-known forms of Central American music is punta, a style innovated by the syncretic Garifunas who live across the region, in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Belize. The marimba, a type of xylophone, is perhaps the most important folk instrument of Central America, and it is widespread throughout the region.

Mesoamerican languages languages indigenous to the Mesoamerican cultural area; not genetically related; includes 6 major families (Mayan, Oto-Mangue, Mixe–Zoque, Totonacan, Uto-Aztecan, Chibchan) as well as various smaller families and isolates

Mesoamerican languages are the languages indigenous to the Mesoamerican cultural area, which covers southern Mexico, all of Guatemala and Belize and parts of Honduras and El Salvador and Nicaragua. The area is characterized by extensive linguistic diversity containing several hundred different languages and seven major language families. Mesoamerica is also an area of high linguistic diffusion in that long-term interaction among speakers of different languages through several millennia has resulted in the convergence of certain linguistic traits across disparate language families. The Mesoamerican sprachbund is commonly referred to as the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area.

Pupusa Salvadorian food

Pupusa is thick cornmeal flatbread from the Pipil culture of El Salvador. It is stuffed with one or more of the following ingredients: cheese, chicharrón, squash, refried beans, or cheese with loroco. It can also be made with a mix of ingredients such as cheese, beans, and chicharrón. It is typically accompanied by curtido, and tomato salsa, and is traditionally eaten by hand, without the use of utensils.

Panchimalco Municipality in San Salvador Department, El Salvador

Panchimal is a town in the San Salvador department of El Salvador.

Mixe–Zoque languages language family

The Mixe–Zoque languages are a language family whose living members are spoken in and around the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico. The Mexican government recognizes three distinct Mixe–Zoquean languages as official: Mixe or ayook with 188,000 speakers, Zoque or o'de püt with 88,000 speakers, and the Popoluca languages of which some are Mixean and some Zoquean with 69,000 speakers. However the internal diversity in each of these groups is great and the Ethnologue counts 17 different languages, and the current classification of Mixe–Zoquean languages by Wichmann (1995) counts 12 languages and 11 dialects. Extinct languages classified as Mixe–Zoquean include Tapachultec, formerly spoken on Tapachula, along the southeast coast of Chiapas.

Cuzcatlan

Cuzcatlan was a pre-Columbian Nahua state of the postclassical period that extended from the Paz river to the Lempa river, this was the nation that Spanish chroniclers came to call the Pipils/Cuzcatlecs. No codices or written accounts survive that shed light on this señorío, although Spanish chroniclers such as Domingo Juarros, Palaces, Lozano, and others claim that some codices did exist but have since disappeared. Their language (Nawat), art and pyramids revealed that they had significant Mayan and Toltec influence. It is believed that the first settlers to arrive came from the Toltec people in central Mexico.

Ethnic groups in Central America

Central America is a region of North America formed by six Latin American countries and one (officially) Anglo-American country, Belize. As an isthmus it connects South America with the remainder of mainland North America, and comprises the following countries : Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.

Salvadorans

The Salvadorans are people who identify with El Salvador in Central America. Salvadorans are mainly Mestizos who make up the bulk of the population in El Salvador. Most Salvadorans live in El Salvador, although there is also a significant Salvadoran diaspora, particularly in the United States, with smaller communities in other countries around the world.

Salvadoran Australians are Australians of Salvadoran descent. Salvadoran immigration to Australia was caused principally by economic and political turmoil in El Salvador.

Index of Central America-related articles

This is an Index of Central America-related articles. This index defines Central America as the seven nations of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

Spanish conquest of El Salvador campaign undertaken by the Spanish conquistadores

The Spanish conquest of El Salvador was the campaign undertaken by the Spanish conquistadores against the Late Postclassic Mesoamerican polities in the territory that is now incorporated into the modern Central American nation of El Salvador. El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America, and is dominated by two mountain ranges running east-west. Its climate is tropical, and the year is divided into wet and dry seasons. Before the conquest the country formed a part of the Mesoamerican cultural region, and was inhabited by a number of indigenous peoples, including the Pipil, the Lenca, the Xinca, and Maya. Native weaponry consisted of spears, bows and arrows, and wooden swords with inset stone blades; they wore padded cotton armour.

References

  1. Campbell, Lyle. (1985) The Pipil language of El Salvador. Mouton to grammar library (no. 1). Berlin: Mouton Publishers.
  2. Trajes típicos Archived 2008-08-21 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Trajes folkloricos de El Salvador
  4. "Ed Weeks is Salvadorean on his mother's side!", latina.com. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  5. "In Bed With Joan – Episode 9: Ed Weeks" . Retrieved 24 August 2014.