Dominican Carnival Characters #3: Los Diablos Cojuelos

Diablos CojuelosHaving just celebrated the Carnaval de la Marina in the Marina Casa de Campo last Saturday the 22nd of February (click here for photos), here we continue our series about the fascinating different carnival characters of the Carnaval Dominicano. This week let’s find out about the Diablos Cojuelos.

If you don’t see any of these during the Carnival, then you are not in the Dominican Republic! And believe me, you’ll definitely watch out for these, since their ‘job’ is to frighten the audience as they dance and hit those in their path with their weapon – balloons made out of a really hard material (in the past an animal bladder)! So watch out, it is really painful!

Diablo_Cojuelo

rightDiablos Cojuelos

  • Represent a naughty and playful demon, who hits and frightens the audience with their balloons.
  • They are the central characters of the Dominican Carnival and are indeed the most famous.
  • We can see these characters in most of the towns across the Dominican Republic.
  • Their costumes ridicules medieval knights – with a cape and colorful baggy pants.
  • They add ornaments of mirrors, bells and ribbons to their costumes.
  • Their mask represents an animal or a horrible and frightening face.
  • Different areas of the Dominican Republic have different names and different types of Diablos Cojuelos

The following are all different types of Diablos Cojuelos:

Diablos Cojuelos - Santo Domingo, La Vega and San Cristobal
Diablo Cojuelo

The mask, costumes and the name “Diablo Cojuelo” can vary depending on the carnival city – except for La Vega (a town at the North of the country), Santo Domingo (the capital) and San Cristobal (a town in the South of the country), where the name “Diablo Cojuelo” remains the same. These “traditional” Diablos Cojuelos always have a very scary mask with long sharp teeth and very elaborate costumes, often with lots of feathers.

Santiago – “Los lechones”
Lechones

These Diablos Cojuelos from Santiago are known as “Los Lechones”. They wear mask that is meant to resemble a pig, with big horns and a duckbill.
Usually they carry a whip instead of the traditional balloons. These costumes are always very brightly colored!

Montecristi – Los Toros 
Los Toros

These Diablos Cojuelos from Santiago are known as “Los Toros”.  The mask of Los Toros is a pig snout without horns and floppy ears made of rubber.

Remember: This is article #3 about Los Diablos Cojuelos, but we will be publishing a series of articles about all the Carnival characters, so stay alert if you want to learn more!

Click here to read part #1 of this series: Roba La Gallina
Click here to read part #2 of this series: Los Platanuses