Colombia has a rich tradition of folk music and dance, most of which reveals African or Native American influences. The bambuco is the national dance, although salsa music and dance became immensely popular within Colombia beginning in the 1960s. In the area around Popayán, a city in southwestern Colombia along the Cauca River, a type of music called murga is played by groups of wandering street musicians using stringed instruments. The word chirimía refers to a kind of flute and to musical groups that use this instrument to perform pieces with a strong Native American influence. Colombia has a National Symphony Orchestra and a National Conservatory in Bogotá.
The National Library in Bogotá (1777) contains about 800,000 volumes; it also administers town and village libraries throughout the country. The leading museums are located in Bogotá. The National Museum contains collections relating to the Spanish conquest and the colonial period. The National Archaeological Museum exhibits utensils, stone carvings, textiles, gold works, and other materials found at sites throughout the country. The famous Gold Museum features a noted collection of pre-Columbian gold objects. "Colombia" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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