Beyond Casa

Dominican Carnival Characters #1: Roba La Gallina

roba la gallinasFebruary has just arrived, and do you know what that means? It’s carnival time! Are you ready to enjoy the most colorful celebration of the whole year?

The Dominican Carnival or the Carnaval Dominicano is one of the most eagerly anticipated and exciting celebrations held in the Dominican Republic and that is why to get you in the spirit of the Carnaval Dominicano, over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing articles on the many different Dominican carnival characters and here is #1 – Roba La Gallina (the chicken thief).

Origin

“Roba la Gallina” is a famous character found in every city of the Dominican Republic during this massive celebration. According to the Dominican “Veganos” (people from La Vega) the character originates from the Haitian occupation of the Dominican Republic from 1822 to 1844.

At that time, or so the story goes, people who were caught stealing their neighbors or in fact anybody’s chickens were punished by having chicken feathers stuck to their bodies and were forced to walk like that in public.

Costume and role

Robalagallina

The “Roba la Gallina” / chicken thief character is typically a man dressed as a woman – presumably meant to be a woman who steals chickens – but before she is caught and punished.

Dressed in colorful, flamboyant dresses, with exaggerated hips and make-up, the “Roba la Gallina” usually carries a big purse filled with candies to through into the gathered crowd. The purse symbolises where the woman would hide her stolen chicken.

The “Roba la Gallina” is one of the most popular and funny of all the Carnaval Dominicano characters. They dance and shake their large bottoms, singing “ti-ti manatí, ton ton, molondrón, roba la gallina, palo con ella!”

Raudy Torres, the Dominican Republic’s most famous ”Robalagallina”
raudy torres

Upcoming Carnival Events

Following the ever growing popularity of the Carnaval Vegano, which will be taking place this year every Sunday throughout February; 2, 9, 16, 23 and 27, carnival fever has now spread across the entire Dominican Republic, with carnivals now being celebrated in most cities and towns.

In Santo Domingo, the Domingo Republic’s capital city, the “Grand Carnival Parade” (Desfile Carnaval en Malecón) will be taking place on Sunday the 2nd of March from 10:00am on the “Malecón” (the city’s principal coastal road), whilst the 7th annual “Carnaval de Santo Domingo Este” will be celebrated on the Avenida España on the 9th, 16th and 23rd of February.

laromana_carnaval_casadecampo

For those of the Casa de Campo community we have; the Marina carnival scheduled for the 22nd of February and for those who want to get out of La Romana there is also the 4th Carnaval Yumero 2014 at Rafael de Yuma on the 16th and 23rd of February.

So don’t miss these amazing opportunities to enjoying the “Carnaval Dominicano”!

Remember: This is article #1 about Roba La Gallina, but we will be publishing a series of articles about all the Carnival characters, so stay alert if you want to learn more!

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