The Domnican Republic witnesses the ultimate congregation of dance, music and festivities in the form of the Brotherhood of the Holy Spirit of the Congos of Villa Mellathe Brotherhood of the Holy Spirit of the Congos of Villa Mella, Villa Mella the place of the union of the slave Africans and people of mixed origins has this Brotherhood Congregation of the Congos , which includes the invoking of the god of dead and imbibing of brotherhood in the fellow citizens.
The Brotherhood consists of playing of ceremonial drums that are called as Congos , these drums are related to the invoking of the god of dead and the related to the ancestors.
This intangible cultural heritage witnesses a colorful and mesmerizing unity of the people of Villa Mella and also exhibits the social and cultural space towards the Holy Spirit.
The Brotherhood, which is nowadays open to all without distinction of sex or origin, was founded in the sixteenth century by African slaves and people of mixed origin. For historical reasons, the Brotherhood is an important part of the cultural identity of its members and of the region as a whole.
The Festival of the Holy Spirit, celebrated at Pentecost, features prayers, dances and singing, accompanied by the music of the congos and a procession carrying the dove representing the Holy Spirit. This occurs at the wake, during the procession to the cemetery and on the ninth day of mourning, when prayers are recited in front of a three-tiered catafalque carrying a doll representing the dead. At the Banko ceremony, three years after the death, the same catafalque is prepared and the living takes leave of the deceased, who then becomes an ancestor. On this occasion, all the guests dance to the music of the congos.
The permanence of the Brotherhood has been threatened by the lack of interest shown by the elite in cultures of African and mixed origin. Today, the acceleration of urban growth, migration, unemployment and the standardization of values is reinforcing prejudices and the lack of understanding of the Brotherhood.