The sounds of the Andes are unique, and captivating to audiences of all ages. A blend of the deep heartbeat of the traditional drum, the ethereal voice of the zampoñas, the strength of the kena that carries over mountainsides, and the delicate notes of the charango all come together to give life to the ancient musical heritage of the Kichwa.
Students first guess what chajchas, a unique percussion instrument, are made of. Then they get to try them! Participants have hands on experience with drums, gourd rattles and rain sticks, playing along in a song. The whole audience claps along to help us keep time to an Inti Raymi rhythm.
The people of the Andes, the Kichwa, Kechwa and Aymara, have wise and ancient practices that are continued today. Close to the land, they farm their food in a sustainable way, speak their own languages, and sing and play a traditional music like no other. They even wear clothes that are like no other clothes in the world! We come to celebrate this wonderful heritage, where culture is deeply rooted in its people. Have you ever been to a wedding that lasted a whole week? Have you ever heard the call to a minga? It's a reciprocal way to help others or the community, when everyone comes together to do a job like mending a roof or fix a local water pipe. In the Andes, people traditionally call on their community to get things done. When you help out your neighbor, he is sure to help you when you are in need. What a wonderful way to get a job done, a minga!
Nature, Peace and Community
We talk about how all of the Andean instruments come from the nature that surrounds the people, and we teach the names of those instruments. Peaceful feelings come from the sounds of the flutes made of reeds, gathered from the edges of highland lakes. We imagine the flight of the condor through the mountains as we play Condor Pasa, a traditional Peruvian song. Stories are told about the people who live in the highland communities, about their strengths and the communal practices that keep them together.