Thursday, 17 December 2009

Wossis, then?

Is it a Christmas present? Is it a musical instrument? Is it where you keep the honey? Is it a tradition? It's all of the above. It's a zambomba (pronounced 'thambomba' and not to be confused with a bombona, a bombero or a bombón). And you'll be hearing it's peculiar sound from now until after Reyes (Three Kings, January 6) In various shapes and sizes, the most 'typical Espanish' is a pottery vessel (where honey used to be kept before fridges) covered in sheep- or goat-skin with a small hole into which is placed a stick. It is this latter that makes a sound against the skin when the hand is moistened. See it in action below>

Admittedly, this video comes from Toledo, not Andalucía, but it gives an idea what to expect.

The zambomba is often part of a villancico, or Spanish carol, at this time of year. But a zambombá (see the difference in that accent on the last 'a'?) is a group of people having a seasonal musical party, and a zambombá flamenca includes the instrument in a flamenco party. Watch out for an announcement for a zambombá in or near Jimena coming up.

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