The Zamacueca is an ancient colonial dance and music that originated in the Viceroyalty of Peru, taking its roots from African, Spanish, and Andean rhythms. Although currently the dance is not widely popular, several dance institutions in places such as Peru still dedicate part of their time to teaching Zamacueca.
The popularity of the Zamacueca would eventually lead to it flowing out of its main region in modern-day Peru to other places in South America. The dance would slowly evolve as it took on new influences, but the basic steps and foundations of the dance remained almost the same.
In Peru, the dance would adjust itself to the post-revolutionary times and take a series of adaptations especially from the coast of the country. Early on, two new styles developed: The Marinera Norteña and the Marinera Limeña. Although the dance never so much as "left" Peru, due to cultural and political reasons this new version of the Zamacueca gained the nickname "la chilena" (in reference to the Chilean Cueca). During the War of the Pacific, the broken ties between these two countries forced this new Zamacueca to indefinitely change its name in honor of the Peruvian Navy to the name of "La Marinera."
The Cueca is the Chilean version of the Peruvian Zamacueca. In Argentina, Zamba (artform) is related to the Zamecueca.