The essence of the Garabato Dance is the eternal fight between life and death, in which the body expression is represented by a figure of death that has in her hands the scythe ("garabato"). With this weapon she is trying to capture the dancers that symbolize life. Life and death, death and life, they look for each other, they wrap, they repel, they. Suddenly at the begin of the dance, the death arrive, envious, to the place where the dancers are having fun and begin to impose her designing. The dancers reject her, make fun of her, confront her and try to introduce her into their bodies ritual. Her, the death, with her scythe, accept their invitation and introduce herself into the dance; she moves her body around the alive, she dance, laugh, but all her movements are just a lie. Inside the dance she catch the dancers and kill them one by one. The scythe is the lethal weapon that help to bring the alive to the other world.
In this dance the men have painted faces and wear yellow shirts and black pants. They also wear a highly decorated cape. Women wear boleros in the colors of the flag of Barranquilla (red, yellow, and green).
The Garabato dance is one of the most traditional and popular dances of Barranquilla city. It is also a contribution of blacks to the Carnival of Barranquilla.