About the Music
Carnaval          Oruro, Bolivia
"La Diablada"
"La Diablada" (Dance of the Devils)  Dancers wear elaborate costumes and dance through the streets for three days at altitudes of 15,000'. The headpiece alone weighs 40 pounds. The costumes cost thousands of dollars, in a country with an annual per capita income of $300. It is a great honor to be chosen to wear the costume and represent one's community. Dancers practice for three months in anticipation of the exhausting event.
"Saya". The 3 cultural groups which contribute to Andean music are the indigenous (primarily Quechua and Aymara), Spanish and African. African slaves were brought to the Andes to work in the mines. Coming from the coast of West Africa, they were unable to adjust to the high altitude and cold. They were replaced by indigenous workers, and moved into the "Yungas" (inland valleys), where their music flourished. The saya is one of the most popular African-influenced dances in Bolivia today.
Indigenous Aymara group playing
autochthonous instruments
Autochthonous instruments are those which pre-dated the Conquest. Still played today, they consist exclusively of wind and percussion instruments.

Autochthonous instruments are made of natural materials, and imitate the sounds of nature.

Wind instruments include: Pan pipes (Siku, Ika, Toyo, Rondador, Antara), Quena, Quenacho, T'arka, Pinquillo, Jula Jula and Moxeno.

Percussion instruments include: Bombo, Huancara and Chajchas (a rattle made of llama hooves).