Element included in the UNESCO List since 2018. Accession no.: 01208 2018 (13.COM) 10.b.33


Drumming in Baena is one of the most significant forms of expression of the town’s annual ritual cycle, as the presence of this instrument in the streets of the town begins on the eve of Saint Joseph’s Day, on the well-known “Night of Drums”, when every person with a drum goes out downtown. From Holy Wednesday to Easter Sunday, it reappears in every religious procession, turning the Holy Week of Baena in a unique event. On the eve of Saint Joseph’s Day, it is the only day that the drums are taken out without the drummers wearing uniforms or following the formal organisational scheme, but rather groups of friends or families are formed to take the drums out and go around the bars of the city, which lasts until the early hours of the morning, with the permission of the Town Hall, as this is the only day (apart from Easter Week) that the drumming is allowed until 6 am. in the morning. Afterwards, it is not until Holy Wednesday that the drums are taken again to the streets, specifically at five am in the morning, expressing the local saying “echar las cajas”, an act that represents the beginning of Holy Week.

The main performers of the tamboradas are the Coliblancos (white-tailed) and the Colinegros (black-tailed) Jews, who, both in and out of processions, fill the sound and physical space of the city until Easter Sunday. There are three different types of drumming, depending on the moment drums are played: the Toque de Procesión (Procession Drumming), the Toque de Calle (Street Drumming), which is played both on Saint Joseph’s Day’s eve and in the moments the Jews walk through the streets during Holy Week and finally, the Redoble (drum roll). A particular kind of drums are the Tambores Roncos (hoarse drums), which have their own characteristic sound, and are differentiated because of their sobriety and rhythm, with a deeper and less strident sound, and accompany, therefore, the most solemn and important processions, such as that of Los Enlutaos (dressed in mourning) on Good Friday night. The origin of this instrument in Holy Week is linked, as is the figure of the Jew, to military or guardian bodies or groups.


On St. Joseph’s eve, no specific costume is required. In the case of the Holy Week, the performers, (coliblancos and colinegros), go out into the streets in groups or cuadrillas, dressed in black trousers and a hand-embroidered red jacket, as well as drummers, although the element that distinguishes them from other groups are their unique brass helmets from which long black or white horsehair hangs, hence their name.


The drum manufactured in Baena consists of a cylindrical structure about 25 centimetres high and 50 centimetres in diameter, made of wood and framed in a gilded brass structure, goat skin membrane and some chillones (threads made of pig intestine) tied to the lower skin, which is what gives the drum its particular sound. It is played with wooden drumsticks. The Tambores Roncos (hoarse drums), smaller, have thicker drumheads or membranes, without the gut on the lower part and completely covered with velvet or cloth of the colour of the brotherhood that carries them.

Judíos en la Plaza de Palacio. Photo: Juan Carlos Roldán. Baena

Judíos en la Plaza de la Constitución. Photo: Juan Carlos Roldán. Baena

Judíos en el Arco de la Consolación. Baena. Photo: Juan Carlos Roldán. Baena.

“El Judío de Baena”. Coliblancos y Colinegros. Pasión por el tambor | #ACofradiasBaena

Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Histórico. Marc BALLESTER I TORRENTS, Atlas del Patrimonio Inmaterial de Andalucía. Fase 2. Zona 3. Toque de tambor, 2010.