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People, Culture

Sandinista leader, Pablo Antonio Cuadra, Ernesto Cardenal, Sergio Ramirez, Ruben Dario

Nicaraguan culture is largely a mixture of Hispanic and Native American elements, with regional variations. Many folk dances are drawn from both traditions. The most notable are those of Masaya, including Las Inditas and Toro Guaco, a dance in which figures representing Spanish conquistadors and Native Americans mock each otherís cultures. There are many local festivals, including the celebration of the feast of Santo Domingo in Managua during the first ten days of August. This combines popular celebrations with a religious pilgrimage. Music is a vital part of such events, which include the playing of marimbas, guitars, traditional flutes (zuls), and maracas. Along the Caribbean coast there is greater African influence on music and dance.

Despite its small size and poverty, Nicaragua has produced many poets and novelists. Most famous is Ruben Dario, whose poetry influenced an entire generation in Latin America. He was the first Latin American poet to be widely read outside of the hemisphere. Ernesto Cardenal, Pablo Antonio Cuadra, and Daisy Zamora are contemporary poets whose works have been translated into English and other languages. Novelists include Sergio Ramirez, a Sandinista leader and former vice president (1984-1990). Nicaraguan painters and sculptors, including painter Armando Morales, have achieved some prominence. A style known as primitive painting has become popular in recent decades.

Article key phrases:

Sandinista leader, Pablo Antonio Cuadra, Ernesto Cardenal, Sergio Ramirez, Ruben Dario, contemporary poets, Masaya, religious pilgrimage, Spanish conquistadors, folk dances, local festivals, Caribbean coast, Managua, guitars, sculptors, novelists, Native Americans, poetry, prominence, poverty, traditions, recent decades, small size, vice president, figures, cultures, Music, works, style, English, events


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