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WIWA PEOPLE - Cantos Wiwa
Cantos Wiwa

Fy 8072
World Music

Dunya Records
1 CD

La Sierra Nevada es el corazòn
del universo (Madre).
Nuestros dioses espirituales
en sus hombros sostienen
el equilibrio del mundo.

From a Colombia ravaged by internal conflict and tormented by "...outside pressure, from the native
communities caught in the grip of the armed conflict between army, paramilitary forces and guerrilla, comes a musical message.. that offers a faint but significant glimmer of hope. As one of the countries that has contributed most to the spread of Latin American music, Colombia’s musical culture at first glance seems to be synonymous with that typical mix of complex rhythms and syncompated melodies known as cumbia or else with its related forms such as the regional vallenato or the world-famous salsa.
The field recordings on this CD, however, have little to do even with the rural traditions of porros bands or musica llanera; nor are they related to the bambuco melodies typical of Andean groups of the cordigliera. Beyond their ethnomusicological value, the pieces we present here shed light on the sentiments, spiritual values and profound, heart-felt ties with the territory that permeate the lives of the Wiwa people, a tribe hailing from the Sierra Nevada di Santa Marta mountains whose 5000m plus peaks slope down to the beaches of the southern Carribean.
Music for the Wiwa people, far from being a mere source of entertainment and relaxation is closely linked to the rhythms of daily life and to the rituals and ceremonies of a people who since time immemorial have dwelt on these lushly forested mountains. There is no doubt because the apparently simple sounds produced by traditional instruments such as flutes and Jew’s harps appear on closer inspection to be so rich in spirit and so timelessly fascinating.
For hundreds of years these melodies have formed a conduit between the Wiwa people and their natural environment enabling them to develop an ancestral rapport geared to maintaining the necessary balance between man and his territorial habitus that Western civilisation has long since forgotten.
For the Wiwa population, the care, attention and protection of mother earth are not merely slogans but everyday life practices that this people carry forth in spite of the economic, social and political difficulties affecting Colombia as a whole. The traditional music of the Wiwa acts as a container for the community’s spiritual knowledge and it’s notable how these cantos can be interpreted both by human voices and by instruments.These instruments include as we have said, a variation on the Jew’s harp known as the sempruna played using a particularly incisive techniques that makes it possible to obtain a variety of harmonic and microtonal variations as well as the instrument’s familiar aspirated sound, and cane flutes called guatukua which must always be played in duo (since they exist in masculine and feminine versions according to the number of holes).
The continuing vitality of the Wiwa’s music is then both an expression of the local community’s determination to keep their traditions alive and a message of hope and freedom for the world.

This Cd has been released with the help of Coop. Macondo, fair trade cooperative store in Vigevano (Italy).
It is an opportunity to give voice to the Wiwa People, to let others know be in touch with their cultural heritage, thanks a not-profit release.

The net profits from the sale of this album will support Wiwa Community presented in this recording, thanks to the collaboration of the Indigenous Organization Gonawindua Tayrona of Santa Marta, a communal organization of Kogi, Wiwa and Ijka people living in the Northern, North-Eastern and North-Western slopes of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta.

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Ramon Gil Barros sempruna (jew's harp)
Manuel Sauna guatukua (flute)
José Manuel Laza guatukua (flute)

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