980. Curaçao’s Festival di Tumba Contestant: Peter van der Pligt

Tumba, our irresistibly rhythmical Carnival anthem, makes you want to get up and swing your hips, hands in the air, derrière out. Tumba originates from our indigenous tambú music (double dance in binary measure) but adds a Latin twist and lyrics are traditionally in Papiamentu.

Great Tumbas air rumors, social grievances, political frustrations, pearls of wisdom, moral obligation and make your feet hurt from dancing all night long. Each annual Carnival parade marches to its very own Tumba performed by the winner of our annual Festival di Tumba, our Rei or Reina di Tumba. Other Tumbas are played too, but each Carnival group is required to play that year’s winning Tumba (at least) 4x an hour during our Gran Marcha (Adult parade)

Once upon a time, during Festival di Tumba 1992 to be exact, a fine Dutch Peter van der Pligtgentleman by the name of Peter van der Pligt dreamt of becoming Rei di Tumba. Competition tends to be stiff as contestants develop loyal fan bases over the years. Regardless, Van der Pligt put his best foot forward, swinging his stiff hips, shaking his flat bum, and belting out his lighthearted Tumba… in heavily-accented Papiamentu.

Bisti mantel! bisti korona!

bow tin ku kumpli kuné!

Hanja plaka, tuma troféo

bow tin ku kumpli kuné!

Bisti mantel! bisti korona!

bow tin ku kumpli kuné!

Hanja plaka, tuma troféo

bow tin ku kumpli kuné!

Si ta homberr bow ta – kumpli kuné!

Si ta machow bow ta – kumpli kuné!     

Kumpli kuné! [direct translation: fulfill your obligation] was as much a play on the things one does to fulfill his / her obligation as Rei or Reina di Tumba, underlying the lyrics is the general message to ‘fulfill your obligation’ whatever that obligation may be, and particularly ‘Si ta homber bo ta!’ (If you’re a man!) it urges fathers to take care of their children, fulfill their obligation to their children.

Though widely admired for his ginormous balls, Van der Pligt lost the competition to Tumba legend Boy Dap (Bòltu e Blachi)… Nevertheless, Kumpli Kuné was played non-stop during Gran Marcha 1992! Here’s a clip of Van der Pligt’s Kumpli Kuné:

About 1000awesomethingsaboutcuracao

I'm Carolina Gomes-Casseres, the creator of 1000 Awesome Things About Curaçao. I live in Manhattan but sometimes miss my first awesome island. Thanks for visiting!


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