The Yucatecan accent is very different from accents in other parts of Mexico. Some of the adjectives used to describe the manner of speaking of people living in Merida, Valladolid and the rest of Yucatan include, “explosive”, “fast”, “weird” and “funny”. You’ll notice it in restaurants and shops, on public transportation, or while listening to guides leading tours in the state.
Listening to Yucatecan Bombas is another way to enjoy the peculiar accent of the region. These improvised verses are recited by dance partners and may be romantic or playful, but never rude. They commonly feature slang phrases from the Mayan language, as well as predetermined opening lines, such as “ayer pase por tu casa”, “del cielo cayo un panuelo” and others that have become popular over the years.
Yucatecan Bombas have their origin in the Vaquerias, a traditional festival that dates back to the eighteenth century, when the main economic activity in the region was ranching. They began as a way of honoring plantation owners, but later became a celebration for the patron saint of the town. During the celebration, couples dance the Jarana, a traditional folk dance of Yucatan, until they are interrupted by shouts of “bomba!” The verses are then initiated by the male dance partner and followed by laughter from the audience.
The "Merida en Domingo" program seeks to preserve the most representative cultural elements of the city. At the event, you’ll find crafts, traditional foods and a reenactment of the Vaqueria, where you’ll have the opportunity to hear the bombas. If you’re vacationing in Merida, you can enjoy these playful verses that are exclusive to Yucatan, and maybe even try to create a few of your own!
The Entertaining Yucatecan “Bombas”
- José Miguel Almeyda