Tumba is derived from the Spanish word for drum, and it is apparent to those familiar with tumba music why this is the case. During the middle of January, a four day festival known as the Tumba Festival is held in Curacao.
Curacao’s premier tumba bands perform during this festival for the opportunity to perform the selected Carnival Road March song of the year. Dancers wearing costumes accompany the usually 12 member bands during their performances.
The beat and rhythm coming from a Tumba band frequently causes spectators to imitate the costumed dancers. Although this event has become heavily commercialized, bands still perform with great passion and festival attendees are very lively. In fact, many bands play throughout the night and early morning hours during the Tumba Festival.