Congo dancing arose among blacks on the coasts of Colón Province during the era of slavery. The colorful and contagious dance reflects the sentiments of the enslaved through corporal expressions of struggle and eroticism.
The bare feet that beat along to the loud drumming are immersed in the magic of the African roots that have survived across generations. As the man pursues the woman in the age-old game of love and flirtation, each individual dancer displays spontaneous expressions and deep feelings in a dance related to nature and trance.
The main characters of the Congo dance are: Mecé the Congo Queen, Juan de Dioso the Congo King, their child Juan de Diosito, Pajarito the winged messenger of Palenque who wears a coconut fiber hat, Meminas the Queen's servant women, and of course the Devil who represents evil.
Children are generally referred to as Juruminga or Hormigas, meaning "ants".