Sunday, May 31, 2015

1866. Pachamama Esta de Fiesta

By Kamran Nayeri, May 31, 2015

A Tito La Rosa concert

Last night I attended a Tito La Rosa concert which was a fund raiser for the Ayni Projects to build schools in Peru.  La Rosa, a descendent of Quechua Indians of the Peruvian Andes, has spent more than a decade recovering and preserving, studying, and intuiting the ancestral music of Peru. Tito is a Curandero de Sonido (sound healer). The program was introduced as "a shamanic sound journey into our deep self, to the places beyond our normal consciousness, to the places that are our sources of joy and deep feeling, to the terrain of our ancestral memories and to the sacred place within us that connects us to the divine." Tito was accompanied by Rene Jenkins and Ian Degole, highly talented and masters of their own right.  It was an enchanting experience that I wish everyone could share. 

The concert was dedicated to Quechua water ceremonies as the title of the program suggested: Pachamama Este de Fiesta.” It cumulated in the following song (original Spanish verses are followed by English translations):

Desde kunyak viene                      from the kunyak (where rivers join) come
Agūita serpenteando                     beloved waters weaving their way
por las acequias                              through the canals
hacia nuestras vidas                      into our lives

De cantar Hualinas                       To sing Hualians (water songs)
y a la vez llorando                          and all the while proclaiming
toditas mis penas                           Every single one of my sorrows
se acabaron                                     is finished/over/complete
Pacamama esta de fiesta

Una estrellita                                  A little star told me
que alegre me decía                       joyfully told me
canta cantorcita                             sing minstrel
a la agüita                                        to the beloved water
agüita madre kunyak                    beloved water mother kunyak 

De cantar Hualinas
y a la vez llorando
toditas mis penas
se acabaron
Pachamama esta de fiesta 

The program sheet explains:

"This song comes from a farming community in the highlands of Peru. each year the community has a fiesta to celebrate water when they create new songs, just for the festival.  This song is a celebration of their traditions, culture and ways of living. Fujimori--the former president of Peru--wanted to give the people PVC pipes to replace the canals because canals needed to be re-dug every year.  With PVC pipes they would not need to remake the canals every year.  They people said 'no' to the PVC pipes because the addition of the pipes would mean losing tradition--culture.  As the people dig the canals they make songs, sing and treasure their lives."  

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