Raul Orlando Jimenez Delgado Portobelo as Birthplace of Devil Character

Interviewee: Raúl Orlando Jiménez Delgado
Biography: Born and raised in Portobelo, Panama, Raúl Orlando Jiménez Delgado was selected to play the role of Major Devil in the Congo tradition of Portobelo in 1982 when Carlos Chavarría took a sabbatical from the role to study abroad in Russia. Just as Celedonio Molinar brought the tradition of "Blessing the Devil" back to Portobelo and taught Raúl's father, Andres Jiménez, how to perform the symbolic role of priest in the tradition, he also mentored Raúl in how to perform the role of Major Devil. Raúl is also responsible for conceiving of and helping to initiate El Festival de Los Diablos y Congo, which is now on of Portobelo, Panama's most popular biennial cultural events.
Excerpt Description: In this excerpt, Jiménez discuses the ways in which the 20th century notion of the devil character in the Congo tradition of Panama was "born" in Portobelo and discusses the ways in which his mentor in the tradition, Celedonio Molinar, brought back the practice of "Blessing the Devils."
Entire Interview: Listen to the full interview and read the transcript.
Interviewer: Renee Alexander Craft
Secondary Interviewer: Arturo Lindsay
Date of Interview: 3-Jun-00
Interview Location: Sandra Eleta's home in Portobelo, Panama
Interview Transcribed By: Gustavo Esquina
English Translation By: Oronike Odeleye, Arturo Lindsay
Ethnoracial Identity Discussed: Afro-Colonial, Afrodescendiente
Cultural Identity: Major Devil in the Congo Tradition
Location Mentioned: Portobelo, Panama; Nombre de Dios, Panama
Congo Spaces:
Congo Characters: Devils and Devil Tradition, Major Devil
Congo Tradition Mentioned: Congo culture, Congo game, Devil embodiment
Cultural Organization: Congos
Themes Mentioned: Congo game, Congo tradition, Cultural change, Devil character
Cultural Festivals: Carnival
People Mentioned: "Alejandro" or "Abelando" Diablo, Celedonio Molinar
Time Period Mentioned: Before "the road"
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Timestamp: 00:06:48.7-00:12:31.0

Photo by: Elaine Eversley