Delia Dancing Picture
Delia Zapata Olivella tagline

Delia Zapata Olivella committed her life’s work to performing, promoting, and preserving Colombian dance traditions, folkloric culture, and the performing arts. She investigated traditions and customs throughout Colombia, interviewing and studying communities in all regions, from the Wayuu indigenous to the coastal Afro-Colombians and focusing on authentic music, attire, and dance. Tracing the customs to their roots in Indigenous, Spanish, and African practices, Zapata Olivella considered Colombia’s tri-ethnic heritage throughout her career. Her papers, acquired by the library in 2018, are of interest to researchers in a wide range of disciplines: performing arts, music, anthropology, history, folklore, cultural studies, and Afro-Hispanic studies. We are grateful to the Delmas Foundation for assistance in the organization of the collection and the online finding aid and Papers.

The papers have recently been made available digitally by Vanderbilt and are openly accessible.


Delia Zapata Olivella images collage