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The Humahuaca Valley

World Routes, Argentina Episode 2 of 5

Duration:
1 hour
First broadcast:
Saturday 16 October 2010

Banning Eyre heads into northwest Argentina, travelling through the provinces of Salta and Jujuy to hear the songs and carnival music of the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a mountain valley in the foothills of the Andes.

Away from the Europe-centric metropolis of Buenos Aires, the northwest of Argentina is characterised by a history of invasion, where indigenous groups such as the Aymara and Coya were conquered first by Incas from the Altiplano, then by the earliest Spanish conquistadors in the 15th Century. The music of the Humahuaca valley is a mix of pan-pipes and end-blown flutes, frame drums and cow horns, mixed with guitars, accordions and mandolins; songs are sung in Spanish as well as Quechua, and the Virgin Mary is venerated alongside Pachamama.

In the fertile Humahuaca valley Banning meets local musician Tomas Lipan, who tells stories of his childhood embarrassment at eating local foods and playing indigenous instruments, rather than eating spaghetti and playing guitar, and the cultural pressure he felt not to express his indigenous heritage. He sings with immense love of his hometown Purmamarca.

Fortunato Ramos, poet, teacher, restaurant owner plays carnival music with his band in the town of Humahuaca, as well as the spectacularly long horn, the erquencho.

Michaela Chauque is a young quena (end blown flute) player, who draws heavily on the ancestral music, and performs a song about the Pucara de Tilcara, a pre-Incan fortress, as well as singing Coplas from the Tilcara Carnival.

Banning also discovers a mechanical Saint that delivers clockwork benedictions.

Music Played

13 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Image for Tomás Lipán

    Tomás Lipán Purmamarca

    Composer: Gueyo Mealla

    BBC Recording by sound engineer Andrew Smillie in Purmamarca, Argentina, May 2010

  • Image for Tomás Lipán

    Tomás Lipán Copla

    Composer:

    BBC Recording by sound engineer Andrew Smillie in Purmamarca, Argentina, May 2010

  • Image for Tomás Lipán

    Tomás Lipán La Linda Margherita

    Composer: Jose Maria Mercado

    BBC Recording by sound engineer Andrew Smillie in Purmamarca, Argentina, May 2010

  • Image for Fortunato Ramos

    Fortunato Ramos Taquiña

    Composer: Trad Performers: Carlos Toconás (guitar), Hernán Lahas (charango), Cristian Urbina (quena, zampons, chas chas), Darío Urbina (bombo), Gonzalo Puchades (electric bass)

    BBC Recording by sound engineer Andrew Smillie at the Peña Fortunato Ramos, Humahuaca, Argentina, May 2010

  • Image for Fortunato Ramos

    Fortunato Ramos El Quebradeño

    Composer: Trad Performers: Tomás Lipán (guitar and voice), Carlos Toconás (guitar), Hernán Lahas (charango), Cristian Urbina (quena, zampons, chas chas), Darío Urbina (bombo), Gonzalo Puchades (electric bass)

    BBC Recording by sound engineer Andrew Smillie at the Peña Fortunato Ramos, Humahuaca, Argentina, May 2010

  • Image for Michaela Chauque

    Michaela Chauque Chauque - El Antigal

    Composer: Trad

    BBC Recording by sound engineer Andrew Smillie at the Pucara de Tilcara, Argentina, May 2010

  • Image for Michaela Chauque

    Michaela Chauque Copla Vallista

    Composer: Trad

    BBC Recording by sound engineer Andrew Smillie at the Pucara de Tilcara, Argentina, May 2010

  • Image for Michaela Chauque

    Michaela Chauque Coplas de Carnival

    Composer: Trad

    BBC Recording by sound engineer Andrew Smillie at the Pucara de Tilcara, Argentina, May 2010

  • Image for Grupo Chakra

    Grupo Chakra Soy de la Puna

    Composer: José María Mercado Performers: Tomás Lipán (sikus and voice)

    BBC Recording by sound engineer Andrew Smillie at the Pucara de Tilcara, Argentina, May 2010

  • Image for Grupo Chakra

    Grupo Chakra Santa Rosa / Saca Tripa

    Composer: Trad Performers: Tomás Lipán (sikus)

    BBC Recording by sound engineer Andrew Smillie at the Pucara de Tilcara, Argentina, May 2010

  • Image for Grupo Chakra

    Grupo Chakra Carnival Music

    Composer: Trad Performers: Tomás Lipán (anata)

    BBC Recording by sound engineer Andrew Smillie at the Pucara de Tilcara, Argentina, May 2010

  • Image for Bagualero Vasquez

    Bagualero Vasquez Coplas

    Composer: Trad

    BBC Recording by sound engineer Andrew Smillie in Salta, Argentina, May 2010

  • Image for Bagualero Vasquez

    Bagualero Vasquez Coplas

    Composer: Trad Performers: Tomas Lipan, Silvia Barrios (voice, caja)

    BBC Recording by sound engineer Andrew Smillie in Salta, Argentina, May 2010

  • World Routes in Argentina - Humahuaca Valley

    World Routes in Argentina - Humahuaca Valley

  • World Routes in Argentina - Humahuaca Valley

    World Routes in Argentina - Humahuaca Valley

  • World Routes in Argentina - Humahuaca Valley

    World Routes in Argentina - Humahuaca Valley

  • World Routes in Argentina - Humahuaca Valley

    World Routes in Argentina - Humahuaca Valley

  • World Routes in Argentina - Humahuaca Valley

    World Routes in Argentina - Humahuaca Valley

  • World Routes in Argentina - Humahuaca Valley

    World Routes in Argentina - Humahuaca Valley

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