Dance Outfit



Dance Outfit


Bomba (Dance)
Dance—Puerto Rico
Folk dancing


The Bomba and the Plena are important musical traditions in Puerto Rico. The Bomba and the Plena are two different music styles; however, it is common to refer to it together because of the similarities they share. The Bomba is of African origin and came to Puerto Rico with the introduction of African Slaves. The Bomba is traditionally played with percussion instruments, such as drums. The Plena was later derived from the Bomba style. These music styles and the traditional dances to it, represent the infusion of Taino, European and African traditions. The Bomba and Plena are played in many cultural festivals, and people traditionally will dance to it. The evolution of these musical and dance traditions illustrates the growth as a community in Puerto Rico. The Bomba and the Plena is still the most popular form of folk music and dance traditions used by the community. Its continuous use inside and outside of Puerto Rico is an example of how important music can be to upholding tradition and culture.

 When dancing to the Bomba and Plena women in Puerto Rico would traditionally wear the La Blusa ya Falda, a two-piece folk dress, and the La Mapola, a flower to wear in her hair. Luz has held onto her La Blusa ya Falda, and La Mapola for about twenty years. She first received this dress when she was twelve years old and danced to the Bomba and Plena in school, and in other cultural events. Her dress was created by Costureras de Puerto Rico, meaning seamstresses in Puerto Rico. Luz holds onto this dress as a momentum to remember her past, and she still uses the dress today to demonstrate the traditional dances to Bomba and Plena. The Bomba style of music is commonly used throughout the Caribbean and within different communities it holds different meanings, and expression. The Plena was created in Puerto Rico and was used as a way to communicate, and tell stories. Dancing and play to both the Bomba and the Plena music is an important part of expressing community history within Puerto Rico.

Citations for Supplementary Sources and Context: 


Pinckney, Warren R. "Puerto Rican Jazz and the Incorporation of Folk Music: An Analysis of

New Musical Directions." Latin American Music Review / Revista De Música Latinoamericana 10, no. 2 (1989): 236-66. doi:10.2307/779952.

"Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena: Shared Traditions - Distinct Rhythms | Smithsonian Folkways."

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Accessed May 06, 2018.

“Puerto Rican Music” Welcome to Puerto Rico! Accessed May 09, 2018.


“Latin Roots: Bomba Y Plena” NPR. Date Accessed May 09, 2018.

Entry Author: Karlyn Marcantorio


Unknown seamstress


Personal Collection of Luz Rodriguez


Luz Rodriguez


Creation Date: c.1988
Accession Date: April 29, 2018


Luz Rodriguez


Copyright to this resource is held by Luz Rodriguez and is provided here by CCSU for educational purposes only.


History Harvest 2018 Interview #17


.JPG Image Files




Physical Object


History Harvest 2018 Object #23a and 23b (formerly object #22).


New Britain, CT; Connecticut; Puerto Rico; 2018; 2010s; 21st century.



Unknown seamstress, “Dance Outfit,” Latino History Harvest, accessed May 19, 2024,

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