Diablo de Portobelo Halloween Costume

My halloween tribute to el diablo de portobelo
Very briefly. The Diablo de Portobelo is the main character in the Festival of Diablos and Congos held in Portobelo, Colón, Panama.

The Congos of Portobelo today are the descendants of the cimarrones—runaway slaves who fiercely fought for their freedom during the Spanish colonial period. Today, the Congos memorialize their ancestors during Congo Carnival in street performances, music, dance, and costumes.  http://www.coloncity.com/congos.html   
Diablo de Portobelo
I use to hate hate hate the diablos growing up, they scared me shitless. But like most haters I was just a misguided admirer. My brothers got to make their own diablo masks and I'd be stuck doing girl stuff.  Diablos are a common figure at Caribbean carnivals, every country has their own version... of course I think my country has the best *wink*

The seed to be a diablo was planted when I went home to Colón, Panama this summer.  We were on our way to La Playa (the beach) and I saw the diablo below painted on a wall when we stopped in Portobelo.  The painting brought back childhood memories. While we were there, my cousins also took me to see the Portobelo ruins below and also seen in the video above.

Portobelo ruins

Miss Panama won best national costume in the Miss Universe competition in 2009 with her version of the Diablo de Portobelo. You can't tell me this isn't the dream carnival costume for any girl that had to sit back and watch her brothers make their own diablo costumes.  *Photo also taken at the Portobelo ruins*
Making my basic version of el Diablo de Portobelo was pretty simple.  I went into a store that I would never normally shop in and bought a one piece jumpsuit that I would never normally wear.  Bought red, black & white felt from Michael's crafts to make the eyes, mouth and flames.  I used white pom pom fringe to simulate the bells that the diablos wear on their legs.  I didn't wanna walk around jigglin baby!!!  The diablos wear bells on their legs so that you can hear them coming and run for your mutha BEEP'n life!!!
The tail was made out of braided yarn. I cut triangles and sewed them to the seams of the jumpsuit (btw the jumpsuit is inside out cause the outside was actually grey/black).   Bought a dreaded wig and glued on horns and then add face paint. 
My brother has a smaller diablo mask that I thought about wearing, but alcohol, hot packed club and masks don't mix.  I would like to one day make my own mask, most are made out of
paper mache.  I'm pretty crafty, I think I can do it.

Festival de Los Congos - Portobelo, Colón, Panama
Any who, just wanted to give a quick history lesson on my costume so that those Not In The Know understand that the picture below is NOT what I was aiming for. One has nothing to do with  the other.

*NOTE* Diablo Rojo is the nickname of the beautifully decorated city buses in Panama, which is why you see a bunch of buses in the 1st video.

1 comment:

  1. The Diablo de Portobelo is definitely frightening....but what I find more frightening is the fact that my yellow Taurus cant join the gang...