* The Old Mama represents the housekeepers of Colonial
Montevideo residences. She wears a flowing skirt, usually white,
with many frills, and a blouse to match. A fan and a parasol complete
* The Herb Man represents the witch doctor or medicine
man who performed cures with herbs and potions. He is an old man
with a white beard, wearing a traditionally black tail coat, bowler
hat and carries a walking stick and a case supposedly containing
This character in his dancing trembles violently and contorts his
body to symbolize possession by spirits in a religious allegory
which is essentially a pantomime.
* The Broom Man represents the stick twirling expert
of many African tribes. He juggles and tosses a small broom. He
wears a leather apron jingling with little bells and sequins, and
is tireless in varying his performance.
Both men and women make up the dance corps. Some
young women through their beauty and vivacity become real stars
of the dance and wear luxurious dresses covered with feathers, colored
beads and chiffon. In the past Marta Gularte and Rosa Luna were
among the most famous stars of the Comparsa, and today Tina Ferreira
and Florencia Gularte are foremost. In addition to the traditional
characters of the Comparsa and the dancers vibrating to the rhythm
of the drum corps, others are always present, including the standard
bearer with his banner covered with stars and crescents, and the
banner wavers who keep their flags undulating in the air.