Cumbia[ˈkumbja] is a dance-oriented music genre popular throughout Latin America. Cumbia originated in Colombia's Caribbean coastal region from the musical and cultural fusion of native Colombians, Africans, and the Spanish during colonial times in the old country of Pocabuy, which is located in Colombia's Momposina Depression and in the ancient palenques of the Congo nation.
Cumbia began as a courtship dance practiced among the African population, which was later mixed with Amerindian steps and European and African instruments and musical characteristics. Cumbia is very popular in the Andean region and the Southern Cone, and is for example more popular than the salsa in many parts of these regions.
Brazilian cumbia is a term loosely used to describe Brazilian music that is influenced by cumbia. In the 21st Century, with the growth of the Internet as well as a Latin American touring circuit, the popularity of cumbia has increased greatly in Brazil leading to many new fusions and variations.