Arts + Culture
Photo by Redens Desrosiers.

This Afro-Colombian Music Group Uses Folkloric Sounds to Unite the African Diaspora

We caught up with Palma Chonta at the sixth annual Afro-Latino Festival of New York.

As one of the opening acts this past weekend at the 2018 Afro-Latino Festival NYC, Palma Chonta brought to the stage the folkloric sounds and instruments of Colombia's pacific coast. That comprised, among other things, the traditional marimba whose bars are made of the palm tree from which their name derives. Palma Chonta, moreover, is also the name of the local organization the group represents. Their mission includes the fabrication, instruction, and distribution of instruments typical of the region.

OkayAfrica spoke to the group about their experience at this year's festival, which had a particular emphasis on Colombia's afrodescendiente population; as well as the recent violence toward indigenous and black community leaders in Colombia, and the group's plans for the months ahead.

Read our conversation below.

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