Culture of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican culture is a mix of four cultures, African (from the slaves), Taino (Amerindians), Spanish, and more recently, North American. From Africans, the Puerto Ricans have obtained the bomba and plena, a type of music and dance including percussions and maracas. From the Amerindians (Tainos), they kept many names for their municipalities, foods, musical instruments like the guiro and maracas. Many words and other objects have originated from their localized language. From the Spanish they received the Spanish language, the Catholic religion and the vast majority of their cultural and moral values and traditions. From the United States they received the English language, the university system and a variety of hybrid cultural forms that developed between the U.S. mainland and the island of Puerto Rico. The University of Puerto Rico was founded in 1903, five years after the island became part of the U.S.
Much of the Puerto Rican culture centers on the influence of music. Like the country as a whole, Puerto Rican music has been developed by mixing other cultures with its own unique flavor. Early in the history of Puerto Rican music, the influences of African and Spanish traditions were most noticeable. However, the cultural movements across the Caribbean and North America have played a vital role in the more recent musical influences that have reached Puerto Rico.

The official symbols of Puerto Rico are the bird, Reinita mora (Spindalis portoricensis), the flower, Flor de Maga (Thespesia grandiflora), and the tree, Ceiba or Kapok (Ceiba pentandra). The unofficial animal and a symbol of Puerto Rican pride is the Coquí (Eleutherodactylus coqui). Other popular symbols of Puerto Rico are the jíbaro , the countryman, and the carite.

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