The time has come to continue expanding our language! On this occasion, we mobilized to Colombia, the coffee nation to the south of America where the term Ambulú originates, have you heard it before? it is a word related to the Afro-descendant population, and its meaning breaks any formality.

This expression is almost exclusive to Afro-Colombians and represents part of its linguistic culture. They often use the word Ambulú as a synonym for mockery after making a joke or playing a joke on someone. The definition of Ambulú in Colombia is summed up in a wild phrase to finish a joke. Thus, a joke finisher is the final part of it, where the joke has its maximum point, where it causes grace.

Origin, Spelling and Concepts of Ambulú

The origin of Ambulú comes directly from the African continent. It is a remnant word of the language spoken by Africans who arrived in Colombia in times of slavery.

According to the phonological origin of the word Ambulú, it is accentuated in the last syllable as it is considered an acute word.

Ambulú is called an alcoholic and artisanal drink very common in the Colombian Pacific. They used it for medicinal treatments that controlled stomach pains, parasites, vigour and fertility, and even against snake bites. Likewise, this drink is also known as biche, viche, bichi or bichí.

In the Ondinga community of Congo, Ambulú was called the ancient ceremony performed by the leader nganga (spiritual healer).

Slavery Times

British and Spanish colonizers who arrived on Colombian shores replaced indigenous labor with Africans brought from Congo, Ivory Coast, Angola, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Mali. These men were sold or exchanged as if it were a commodity.

The black men who were brought from Africa, adapted to the South American lands after liberation and today you can appreciate the clear mestization of cultures and ethnicities.

Among the cultures from the African people who settled in the Colombian Pacific are the cumbia and the delicious sancocho .

In another context and as a curiosities, on the YouTube Platform user Kevin Voltro has made this phrase popular through a comedy series whose title is “Ambulú”.

In addition, in Colombia there is a village in the department of Tolima also named Ambulú. This village is located at an altitude of 2155 meters and has approximately 4419 inhabitants.

Ambulu is known as a tourist area of The Province of East Java in Indonesia.

Finally, we realize that the search for knowledge not only guides us to the meaning of a word, but also makes us encounter the story, a story that is often attractive and at other times, it is not so much. The truth is, Ambulú enhances the good sense of humor of Afro-Colombians despite having experienced a past full of abuse and atrocities.