Great part of Salta´s inhabitants will sing or play or dance a “Zamba” (traditional dance) in folklore clubs, locally named “Peñas”. The reason for this is that many people born in this region, grew up listening to great poets and musicians from our province such as the writer Manuel J. Castilla, (1918-1980), the poet Jaime Dávalos (1921-1981) or the musician Gustavo “Cuchi” Leguizamón (1917-2000). The “Peñas” are mandatory meeting points for local people and for all those turists who want to enjoy the dance, music and regional food.
The Zamba is a traditional dance of Argentina. It is a style of Argentinian music and folk dance. It is a majestic dance, performed by couples who circle each other waving white handkerchiefs very elegantly. Zambas are composed about every subject, from those that celebrate people or events of our country history, to those that describe the beauty of a region or the beauty of its women. The “bombo legüero” (drum) is prominent in the playing of the zamba. Is the pace for excellence in our province and, in Argentina, people say that the best zambas are from Salta.
Original chants and melodies come from the area inhabited by Quechuas, Aymaras and other people who lived in the area of the Inca Empire before the European contact. This early music was then fused with Spanish music elements. It includes folklore music of different countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Perú and Venezuela. Andean music is popular across Latin America, especially in rural areas and among indigenous populations. In the 70s revived and was brought to places where it was unknown or forgotten. An example of this dance is “the panpipes”. They use different instruments such as the “siku” and the “quena”.
Native Dances are those that belong to Argentina because they were created in our country. But it also includes those dances of uncertain or foreign origin, that were deeply practiced in Argentina and that suffered a process of adjustment. The native dances that have reached us are traditional because they have been taught from generation to generation. It is said that a fact is “folklorico” when is anonymous, traditional, valid, popular, collective, practical and regional. Native dances are very important especially in the Northern region where the rhythm and music is distinctly Indian. An example of these dances are “Carnavalito” and “Huayno”.