Folklife Fest: Quechua Music

4 Jul

los masis
There’s something very distinctive about Andean folk music. Whether from Peru or Bolivia or elsewhere, it seems always upbeat, joyous and emotionally restorative. Most of what I’ve heard is Peruvian harp music, and this week at the Smithsonian Folklife Fest, I got to see all that enthusiasm and dexterity in the form of an eight-piece Bolivian band, Los Masis

Founded in 1969 in the town of Sucre, the collective strives to preserve their indigenous cultural traditions of Quechua lyrics and melodies, dance and costumes. They also helped start a bilingual Quechua-Spanish school in the region to counteract the countries’ shift toward Spanish-only.

Does the music make you want to learn the language?

More photos from the festival:

polka closers slow dancers littlest Siletz dancer folklife fleet

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