San Martin, Meta is a town located in the middle of Colombia’s eastern plains. Each year since the 18th century San martin’s people have staged an elaborate event that symbolizes the origin of the Latin American peoples as forged in war and conquest.
The Festival de Cuadrillas (Festival of Troops) features an equestrian choreography which represents with Spanish soldiers, Arabian soldiers, Indians and Africans.The festival was invented in 1735, during the Colonial Period, by a Catholics priest, Gabino de Gamboa. The four troops in the festival represent two historical facts: the battles between Spanish and Arab in the Old World, and the Spanish conquest of America.
These images show the troops which represent Africans slaves, called “Los Cachaceros”. These “black” cowboys use animal skins, tusks beasts, turkey feathers, and exotic birds to make their costumes and a honey-based makeup and charcoal to paint their bodies.