Nicaragua is a country of traditions and customs that have passed from generation to generation, among which its musical, artistic and dance expressions stand out. In this article, we show you images and videos of the most outstanding folk dances of Nicaraguan culture. In addition, we indicate in which towns and departments they are practiced.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

The Güegüense

This dance is also known as Male mouse. It is practiced in the departments of Carazo and Masaya, in the Pacific region, specifically in Diriamba and Niquinohomo, during January 20 and July 26.

El Güegüense has been represented since the end of the XNUMXth century and has a c. It is a kind of theatrical dance, a comedy that protests against the situation that the mestizos had in front of the Spanish.

In this video we can see what the dancers' costumes look like, as well as the characteristics of the choreography and music:


This dance is one of the most important in Nicaraguan folklore. It takes place at the Mayo Ya or May Pole festival, in early May. Ribbons of different colors are tied on a pole of about 3 meters. The dancers dance in circles, weaving the ribbons.

It is traditional from the Caribbean and is made to honor the Mayaya goddess and ask for new crops and fertility. It has been celebrated since the XNUMXth century and is thought to be an adaptation of the English version. It originated in the town of Bluefields.


The Walagallo or roosters dance It is a dance of the Atlantic Region practiced by the indigenous people Garífuna. It is a kind of ritual that is intended to cure a sick person.

It is thought that the person who is ill has been possessed by a spirit or God has sent that illness to him, and it is practiced when it is a truly serious case.

The Inditas

Las Inditas is traditional from Masaya and is danced on September 30, during the festivities in honor of San Jerónimo. It is indigenous origin and in it the activities of daily life are recreated.

It is performed by a total of five pairs of dancers and the instrument that accompanies them is the arc marimba. It is also practiced in Diriamba, Carazo, on January 20, for the San Sebastián festivities.

The Devils

Los Diablitos is danced in Masaya on the last Sunday of November in honor of San Jerónimo. It has its origins in the nineteenth century, when young people serenaded girls at night.

In this dance appear fifteen characters, each of them with a colorful wardrobe. All the performers are men and each of them performs different movements:

  • The Greater Devil (Mephistopheles)
  • The Black Devil
  • The Red Devil
  • Quirina Death
  • Bear
  • The tamer
  • The lion
  • The Male Mouse (donkey)
  • El Tigre
  • Six devils

In the case of the devils, they wear a mask that covers their face. In Nandaime, Jinotepe and Nagarote there are dances with the same name, but they have a different history.

Black ones

The dance of the Blacks is practiced in Masaya, also during the festivities in honor of San Jerónimo, specifically every Sunday in October and November. It originated in the town of Monimbó.

The history of this dance begins in colonial times, when the Indian women danced with the Spanish. This angered the indigenous people, who created this choreography as a protest against colonization.

It is represented by a group of eight men, four dressed as boys and four dressed as girls. At first, their faces were painted black, but later they switched to masks.

The Old Man and the Old Woman

El Viejo y la Vieja is performed in Diriamba, Carazo, every January 20. You travel a route of eight hours that starts and ends at the door of the village church. Dancers are men who want to pay a promise.

They wear a long-sleeved white shirt, dark pants, a palm hat and a cane. Also, others are disguised as an old woman with a headdress and a colorful skirt. The Old Man dances slow and the Old Woman fast. They imitate the Spanish.

The Zompopo

The Zompompo is a regional dance of Altagracia, on the island of Ometepe, Rivas. In the past, there was in this population a plague of zompopos, a species of flying ants.

The dance reflects the effort of the population to end this plague. The dancers are a group of ten couples who carry mango branches and imitate how people frightened or killed zompopos.

The music that accompanies this dance is of Afro-Caribbean origin. Traditionally, it is danced between November 12 and 18.

The Gigantona and the Big-headed Dwarf

La Gigantona y el Enano Cabezón is a folk dance from León that is performed in December. La Gigantona is a tall doll that is moved by a man from within and dances to the rhythm of the drums.

The Big-headed Dwarf quotes verses about him unrequited love between the woman and a mestizo. Pepito, a man who pretends to carry another on his back, may also appear in the choreography.

Huaco bull

El Toro Huaco is danced in Diriamba, Carazo, on January 20, by a group divided into two parts of between eight and twelve people. Besides these dancers, there is the Mandador, the head of the group, and the Bull.

The members of each group stand on both sides of the street in single file ordered by height and jump. In the center remain the Bull and the Boss. They all wear wooden masks except the Bull. Also, each group has a captain.

The Little Mare

La Yegüita is a representative dance of San Juan de Oriente, Masaya, where it is performed every June 24 for the San Juan Bautista festivities. The dancers act as swordsmen or claws.

They dialogue imitating the children and fight because the mare has been lost. At the end of the fight, the animal reappears. It's a dance that they just dance the men.

Top image by Lord of the Wings ©.

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