Archive for the Preserving Culture Category

PEÑA by Secret Stash Records (A series of compilations inspired by a genre from Perù’s capital coast) ; words by Renz De Madrugada

Posted in Preserving Culture, Renz De Madrugada on May 24, 2011 by Listen Recovery

Since 1991 when I arrived in LAX from Jorge Chaves Int. I had my tapes of Eva Ayllon and some of Arturo Cabero.  The music I was taking with me was a symbol for me to coming back one day.  I was told life in the north was promising and the opportunities of having a better education was open to everybody who live there.  So I stayed here till 2005.  On December of 2005 I arrived back in Lima after… (?) … 14 years… Yeah! 14 years…

Everything looked small.  It was much faster to transit by foot from city to city… I was back in mother land, a metropolis, but motherland to me.  I was born in Lima,  Clinica del Empleado in the city of Jesus Maria.  Anyhow… The story of  Peruvian folklore starts there for me… That is how I got to understand the feeling of Afro Peruvian and Costa Tunes.

The Series of PEÑA by Secret Stash, does take me back.  Ever since I when back to Lima to seek most of the Peruvian recordings.  I felt in love with Afro Peruvian records.  Starting with Peru Negro., then jumping to Eva Ayllon and Arturo with Aviles… I was not too lucky to find good copies of most of the female singers, till me second trip, where I found Victoria Santa Cruz and Lucha Reyes, Chabuca Granda and Lucila Campos.  Finding this Lps took me back to the 80’s when I started to listen the music of my land.  Arturo Zambo Cabero’s Exitos was one of those Lps that took me back immediately.  Every track came back to my head.  I was impressed that I still remember some of the lyrics.  “Cado Domingo A Las Doce Despues De La Misa” took me back.

You see.  In Lima, back in the days, when I was young and lived there, Pops and Moms used to organized gatherings at home for special occasion.  Some of the most vivid ones I remember was the PEÑA parties.  My parents had friends that sing Afro Peruvian songs, from Lando, to Marineras, to Tonderos to Negroide etc.  I must it been around 6 or 7 years old when this parties happen, it used to get loud and would go till the early hours of the next morning.  Around 40 to 50 heads drinking and singing along the trio, which was formed by a cajón, guitar and a couple of big spoons to assimilate the sound of castañuelas.  That I remember vividly.

As much as my records are dear to me, the sound of Peru is dear to me.  PEÑA is one of those compilations that hit home.  Aside of the contemporary sound of the songs interpreter by a beautiful voices, the entire projects has taken me back to the day of those parties at home, but in a more melo way…

The selection of titles couldn’t have been more exact for the times and the opportunity to show more of the riches of Perù.

PEÑA I and II are a must to have for all those who want to experience an old and new world sound that will message  your soul as well as make it move.

The Remixes are a beautiful extension to both compilations.  Secret Stash Records is moving the Peruvian Cultural world of music in the right path.  This is a great way to learn and start your journey to the beautiful costal waters of  Perù and the amazing Andes that connect a few worlds.

I cannot forget about the package.  A wooden cover, red marble texture  that gives a highly presentation and honor to this genre of music from a third world land.

I can not wait to listen to the Rhythms of Black Perù.  Secret Stash Records is invading your ears with Perù.


Renz De Madrugada

TRUNK DRUM Afroperuano, REVIVE ancestral sounds (translated to english)

Posted in AFRO LATINOS, Instruments ads, Peru Negro, Peru Treasures, Preserving Culture on September 25, 2010 by Listen Recovery

The long trunk drum, former percussion instrument that had been extinguished, was rescued by the Afro-Peruvian Museum of Zana and can now be shocking to hear your sounds, thus overcoming the silence. The work was completed in 2010 Fiestas Patrias. In this way the museum from the plains of northern Peru continues with the work of revaluation of ancient musical instruments that were forgotten. The drum was used stem from the colonial era in most settlements of Afro Peruvians. Gradually disappearing. Peru was losing its African roots drums like a long agony. Among other factors, modernity destroyed a significant part of our traditions. The vast majority of peoples of African descent in the Americas retained their old drums. Peru and had forgotten.
From November 2009 to date, the research team of Afro-Peruvian Museum has conducted an intensive work of re-evaluation and dissemination of percussion instruments such as the “Czech”, the “Angara”, the “jug drum” and the “scratch scratch” or “oak” guayaquil cane.
The long trunk drum, single patch, rebuilt by the Afro-Peruvian Museum of Zana is one meter long with a diameter of 38 centimeters. It is made of a eucalyptus tree, which has a hardwood. The drum was made in a rustic way of Zana Valley countryside. The main job of making the opening or “hollow” and shape the drum was the work of Rodolfo Zevallos Oliva 72-year-old African-American to consider an experienced rural artisan Zana Valley. The task was arduous. It began on June 15 and ended the first phase on 25 July 2010. For the large size of the trunk and its hardness, Mr Zevallos was long iron tools (new type of chisels) to hollow out the wood and used a wooden mallet as a hammer sapote. Used five old rustic tools. He left around the trunk hollowed out and ready for the final phase.

The finish long trunk drum included tightening the leather. This work was carried out by young Zaner Emmanuel Briones Carlos Urbina and experience working with rural and traditional music afrocosteña practice. They were responsible for putting on a goat leather, rings, the halter and wedges to temper. They joined two generations and to revive their ancestral art. The work was culminated precisely the July 28, 2010.
The two young men all participated in the month of May this year in a previous valuable experience to rebuild the earthen jar drum.
Various specialists and Caitro Soto, “Pititi” Nicomedes Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Fernando Rafael Romero, Tompkins, and “Chalena” Vasquez confirmed the old drum musical use Afro trunk. Their extinction was in the first half of the twentieth century. William Tompkins gathered in Chincha testimony from people who remembered having seen the last drum trunk around the year 1950 stating that there was placed vertically to be tapping.
The African traditional drums that came to Peru from the time of the Spanish conquest had a variety of shapes, sizes and were made from a variety of logs. In the ancient guilds, in the sheds of farms in the Palenque and in the groups festive drums sounded the ancient art and strength.
To recreate the ancient musical instruments, Afro-Peruvian Museum of Zana has used written sources, oral and iconography (paintings and drawings old). One of the most symbolic images has been a watercolor of Francisco “Pancho” Fierro, entitled “Follow the 1821 civic procession, in commemoration of the National Independence Day. At that time Afro-Peruvians took to the streets with their musical instruments also struggling for their own freedom. Just at this painting you can see the drum long trunk, which is loaded on the shoulders of two African descent. With that image references and other specialists in the field we have already concluded this new task.

There are three main objectives of rebuilding these valuable ancient musical instruments. First show and exhibit at the Museum of Afro-Peruvian cultural wealth Zaña of African descent with pieces of great historical value, second re-introduce these musical instruments in the contemporary art world and third Afro integrate with our drums to beat of feelings and sounds of the African Diaspora in the Americas. The drums unite the people from the continent of ebony.

In Africa it is traditional to use the drums with religious and artistic messages. Spirituality and feelings are transmitted through the percussion instruments, singing and dancing. In Peru in the nineteenth century were gradually disappearing, and disseminating religious rituals of African origin. For various reasons were disappearing rustic drums of African origin in Peru. Supposedly it had all ended in the first half of the twentieth century. The old Afro-Peruvian drum rustic trunk, had already passed into oblivion.

Just log drum returns and is reborn in the countryside where Zana lived and worked by men and women enslaved. The new generations are making great efforts to recover their ancient traditions of music, sounds and musical force of their ancestors. And so gradually returning the old drums that unite us with the ancient Africa and the descendants of enslaved 30 million Africans were forcibly transported to the Americas for four centuries. So now recovered joy. Rescuing ancient musical instruments of our ancestors could make a musical revolution in our country, because returning the spirits of the African diaspora with their drums and ancient sounds. Now with our clay jug drum and drum long trunk we meet with our great-grandparents who came from Africa. These musical pieces are available to each and everyone who wants to revive our ancient arts.

Zaña, Peru, July 28, 2010
Museum of Afro-Peruvian Directorate, Zaña  < link to site


Posted in Books, Ethnomusicology, Music Negra, Peru, Peru Negro, Peru Treasures, Preserving Culture, South America on August 28, 2010 by Listen Recovery

Chalena Rosa Elena Rodriguez Vasquez is one of the most renowned musicologists in Peru. His text “Musical Practice of the Black Population in Peru” was published in 1982 and won the prestigious House of Musicology of the Americas Cuban organization reports, investigates, promotes, recognizes and publishes the work of scholars of literature and arts.

Chalena interest lies in the study of Afro-Peruvian holiday traditions found in El Carmen and other nearby areas in the provinces of Cañete and Chincha, areas where the black population has a significant percentage in our country. These traditions are studied from field surveys and documented with historical and sociological analysis that supports the first part of the book. In its first pages the author also reflects on the impact it has had on these artistic process of cultural commodification and corporate image.

The introduction of the book shows the clear line that she draws between the spontaneous and commercial:

“… We encounter many difficulties to see that we had left a false hypothesis. The intense activity of many folk music groups of so-called black, Negro or Afro, Black … as Peru had made us think that this music scenario was also presented in a spontaneous and intense practice at the grassroots level … From the first interviews we could see that at spontaneous, this practice rarely performed musical. Understanding spontaneity as an activity outside the framework of official parastatal or commercial. But the musical practice we found it was mostly within that framework: the commercial.
Then … we headed south, Cañete and Chincha, where the percentage of black population is higher … toured villages and farms, whose residents highlighted that “it hardly makes the music”, “that was old days” or “no money for holidays.” However, we note that extinction is not total, but the musical practice is so sporadic that it is necessary to stay and the place of many months at least … While in this search, we found in El Carmen, Chincha near town and in other towns in the same area … a demonstration that has great effect that is made for Christmas time: the Dance of Negritos (pack of Negritos) “(p. 9-10)

The first part of the book shows a brief history of African slavery with demographic data, we highlight that Peru is not ethnically African populations became established (different cultures) and therefore have brought musical expertise of various kinds. It shows how the Spanish banned the musical practices of African and regrettable that means having only purely literary data without a reference to the “sound phenomenon” of this music, it then would enter a stage of near disappearance.

The text that we detailed the nineteenth century, dance and music were often a tool to achieve social advancement and recognition, because sometimes people of African descent came to be masters of dance of the ruling class. However, the musical practice was separate parties: the ruling class dance in the “grand salon”, the waltz, mazurka, Jack, minuet, etc.., While dancing classes in villages and alleyways, musical forms such as zamacueca, INGA, the panalivios, the gannet, etc. (p. 24) concludes this section stating that black musical forms in Peru, are the product resulting from a social practice in which a battle being waged between social classes. Notes also emerges years later the so-called criollismo, new cultural product that would not be entirely black groups, but the lower classes of the Peruvian coast.

Chalena also discusses the current state of music, since 1956, when it appears the Company PANCHO FIERRO (first organized group to present a show of black music) and in which there was no difference between the “afro” and “native”, since in the social practice of the twentieth century there is no difference between black and Creole, and mentioned that the music called “Negro” was not only of blacks but of the lower classes of society. The author then shows how to use the term born “Afro” in the 1960s.

Chalena After we made notes as the professionalization of black folklore, where it notes that participants in the groups of “black art” learning to dance in them, in the trials, which shows little or no musical practice with spontaneously. “The same applies to people coming from south of Lima (Cañete, Chincha). Many of the groups that make up Lima, are people in those places … We emphasize this because we consider important to note the lack of spontaneous social practice of music-of the people, even those with high percentage of black population. ” (P. 43)

The author describes a general way of structuring music shows “black”:

– First is the need for the product is “folk”, present to some extent “the most authentic black folk” of those events that oral tradition and continuity did not reach total extinction as is the case of native stomping practiced in various communities of Chincha and Cañete, as well as others that were not intense practice at the grassroots level: alcatraz, Inga, bull kills, etc.

– On the other hand is the reconstruction of some dances that apparently were already obsolete and Land or Zamacueca. Another dance that was in disuse is the celebration, which originated in the part of the choreography is known today is credited to Don Porfirio Vasquez.

– A third aspect to consider would be innovation, aesthetic value is achieved by market needs. Chalena emphasizes “the performance of a pseudo rituals in which one notes the influence of the ballets of Senegal, Guinea and Cuba, that although he recognizes an undeniable aesthetic value, are quite questionable, because at present as folk are completely distorting reality and spreading a false image of the black in Peru “(p. 46)

– Finally, there is a type of recreation, innovating the instrumentalization or incorporating instruments fell into disuse. Such is the case of the reco-reco, according to Carlos Hayre instrument was brought to Brazil by Nicomedes Santa Cruz.

The second part of the book is devoted to a thorough musicological study of dance in their little black pack of butt shapes, such as spontaneous practice of that population.

Within the population cañetana interviewed for this book, we mention Angel Donayre (son), Guillermo Donayre, Carlos Donayre, RA Manzo, Francisco Timor, David Fernandez, Toribio Sánchez, Flora Ruiz, Adel Chumpitaz, Pancho Benavente, Benavente Augusta, Alberto Ruiz, Gregory Cubas, Jose Fernandez, Isabel Bravo, José Centeno and Cesareo Zegarra.

Eduardo Campos Yataco

(Spanish version from Cañeteartenegro blogspot)

SIERRA NEVADA, Colombia “Its people and territory”

Posted in Colombia, Colombian Art, photography, Preserving Culture, Sierra Nevada Colombia on February 3, 2010 by Listen Recovery

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta rises abruptly from the Caribbean coast of Colombia. It is the world’s highest coastal mountain range, independent and isolated from the Andes. It is also a region of tremendous historical, cultural, biological and economic importance for Colombia.

Due to its size, approximately 17,000 km2, altitudinal variations and tropical position, the Sierra Nevada possesses some of the world’s most diversified flora and fauna, including many endemic species, and is of significant biological and hydrological importance. Its 35 river basins provide fresh water for some 1.5 million people living in the surrounding areas, and for agriculture and industry.

It is a sacred region for the 50,000 indigenous people from four main ethnic groups – Kogi, Wiwa, Arhuaco and Kankuamo – descendants of the Tayrona,

We still inhabit the region and practice traditions that date back to pre-colonial times, and our ancestral territory is delimited by a series of interconnected points (sacred sites) in the lower parts of the mountain range and between the sea and the snow-capped peaks. For our people, Cerro Gonawindua is the center of the universe and the mountain’s health controls the health of the entire planet. Our entire social organization and spiritual and cultural foundation are based on sacred practices carried out throughout these traditional lands. We believe that the Sierra Nevada is the “Heart of the World.”

Our Mamas, the guardians of our cultural knowledge, are renowned for their wisdom, foresight, and caring for the natural environment. We rely on their guidance for maintaining our traditions despite serious threats to our lands, way of life, culture and the natural resource base.


The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the indigenous people who live there have been affected since the arrival of the conquistadors and European thinking at the start of the 16th century. Despite their relative isolation, the indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada were progressively stripped of much of their traditional lands and their culture, way of life and sacred sites were violated. They have had to contend with a succession of invasions and external pressures, colonizers, farmers and missionaries, and more recently from those involved in marijuana and coca cultivation, and non-indigenous settlements.

Deforestation, biodiversity loss, illegal crops and soil erosion threaten the future of the territory and the water resources on which large human settlements, agro-industries and tourism in areas around the Sierra Nevada are dependent. A water crisis is already evident.

Proposals for large infrastructure projects present a new threat to the ecosystems. The growing problem of armed conflict over territorial control creates other risks for the future survival of the indigenous people and their culture.

The Strategy

The indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada propose a strategy for the conservation of their traditional territory and the protection of forests and water resources, based on the recovery of lands within the legally recognized resguardos (collective indigenous territories) and the extension of resguardos to include sacred sites and zones that they consider a priority.

The aim is to protect 90,000 hectares of priority zones, within the existing and extended resguardos. The strategy includes the protection of traditional knowledge and practices of the indigenous peoples of the Sierra Nevada, recognizing their role in the conservation of ecosystems and biological diversity. It will strengthen traditional land use and management practices that preserve indigenous culture and knowledge, and the conservation of water resources for regional and global benefit.

Project implementation is in the hands of the four indigenous organizations, accompanied by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

A proposal presents the activities and a financial projection for the initial phase, to recover 18,920 hectares of ecological and cultural importance, the restoration of natural ecosystems in 60% of these areas, and the protection of at least 15 threatened sacred sites. Please contact Danillo Villafaña or Fiona Wilton for more information.

Progress to Date

In the priority areas for this program, the indigenous organizations coordinate with the relevant state institutions and are carrying out the preparatory work for land purchase, such as inventories and valuations. They manage their own databases with thematic and land-use maps.

Agreements have been reached with the national government, regional environmental authorities, INCODER and the Fondo Nacional de Regalías, for co-financing the legalization and extension of the resguardos. International environmental organizations have also given their support, such as The Nature Conservancy, Rotary Club International, AVINA.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has enabled two visits by Mamas and other indigenous leaders from the Sierra Nevada to the United States to promote the program, and a Group of Friends of the Sierra Nevada has been formed.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Korean Fund for Poverty Reduction are funding a program for food security among the indigenous people, strengthening traditional agricultural practices in recovered lands. The European Commission supports the traditional authorities to identify the health and education needs of the indigenous population, and to develop initiatives for the ecological restoration of recovered lands.

Private donations have enabled the program to start and for traditional lands to be purchased.


by taironatrust organization

“why humans were made” the Koji Mamas explain