Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Peru - Cumanana

The “Cumanana” is a poetic form of singing based onfour or ten line stanzas. Of Spanish origin, it arrived in the northern coast of Peru with the slaves brought from the Caribbean, towards the 17th century. It is characterized by the joyfulness of its improvised verse lines dealing with all aspects of the life of men and women in the countryside. One of its forms is the competition between two rhymers and this is called “contrapunteo” (improvised musical dialogue).

See more

The northern “cumanana” was one of the first cultural expressions vindicated by afro-Peruvian researchers and activists, with Nicomedes Santa Cruz as one of the most outstanding composers of decimas during the 1960s. This is a specific style of decima associated to the people of African descent in the northern area of the country, while in the Peruvian central coastal area and in the south, reference is made to décimas (ten 8-syllable verse lines) and decimistas (folk verifier and singer).   


Since 1987 a National Festival of Tondero and Cumanana is organized on November by the Santa Rita parish school, with the support of the Municipality of Chulucanas and other institutions and local business.


See less

Other data of interest



En distintos poblados de la costa norte, entre las regiones de Tumbes, Piura y Lambayeque.


Intangible heritage expression


Access level


Property kind



  • en 2004-11-26 0