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Videos: Andean Music + online sources for Native musical instruments

Videos: Andean Music + online sources for Native musical instruments

You wonder why we are studying the Andes?  The last song on the last video is named “Huayno.”  It means “priest” in the Andes.   In the recently discovered Migration Legend of the Creek People, High King Chikili introduces himself to the British officials in Savannah as “I,  Chikili,  huayno of the westernmost town and now king of the Upper and Lower Creeks.”  In Richard Briggstock’s 1653 visit to the Apalache in Northeast Georgia,  he mentioned that the Apalache priests had the same name.  Methinks that ideas and people moved around back then.

Since Fascist and Marxist regimes have been, at least for now, driven out by Populist movements, the Andean region is experiencing a remarkable resurgence  of its indigenous heritage.  Of course, tourist income has something to do with it, but it is a “New World” when fashion savvy young women in Lima, Quito and La Paz dress in clothing inspired by Native traditions .    Peruvian college coeds are now even wearing traditional  indigenous hats .  . .  to look “cool”.    You will see that in the third video.

The trend in music is to mix instruments from the region’s indigenous and Spanish traditions.  Below are beautiful HD videos of folk music groups from Bolivia, Equador and Peru.  These videos on YouTube can function as portals for you to explore other examples of Andean music.

The strange looking percussion instrument that looks like a cloves of garlic bulbs is made from sheep hooves.  Originally, it was made from llama hooves in the Andes and deer hooves in the Southeastern United States.   You will also see a percussion instrument that appears to be just a stick.  It is a rain stick.  The rain stick is made by drying the trunk of a special type of cactus that grows in the Andes. It makes a sound like falling sleet and can be purchased from Bolivia Mall (see below).

Online sources for Native American instruments.

POOF has expanded its list of online sources for Native instruments. Several people have been inspired by the POOF articles and videos on Central America and the Andean Region.  They either want to re-create the music of our ancestors for their own entertainment or even start an authentic Native American orchestra like the one which greeted Hernando de Soto at Kusa.

Our instruments were different, more diverse and far more sophisticated than what one sees at a typical powwow.  Fortunately,  our cousins to the south are still making and playing the same instruments that our ancestors forgot during the trauma of the European Conquest.

There are also two instruments played by the ancestors of Creeks, which is not seen among Andean peoples today.  They were the copper pan pipe and something akin to a conga drum, but with a cylindrical shape.  Copper pan pipes have been found in burials as old as 2000 years in Alabama, Georgia, NW Florida and Tennessee.  Today metal pan pipes are very inexpensive and should definitely be a part of your tribe’s musical ensemble.

The people in Thailand still make a drum identical to the principal Creek drum.  It is called a Rumrong and can be purchased for only $79 from X8 drums (see below).   The Muskogeans used many other types of drums, too.  They particular liked something akin to a bongo drum.   Serious drummers will enjoy seeing the X8 website. as extensive range of Latin American percussion and wind instruments.  Most are mass produced and not the quality of the hand made instruments sold by Bolivia Mall.  Also,  Bolivia Mall sells only a couple of drums.  However, you can purchase very inexpensive metal and bamboo flutes/pan flutes here that are perfectly fine for young people and new musicians.

Bolivia Mall

zamponaI have found a source that has very reasonable prices for handmade, professional quality Native American instruments . . . Bolivia Mall.   I purchased a top of the line four octave, chromatic scale Zampoña (pan flute) for 25% of the cost of  the same brand instrument in the United States.  The instruments are shipped either from Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru or Panama, but the shipping time is no more than two weeks. Here is the URL for Bolivia Mall:

X8 Drums

X8 Drums, by far, has the most complete inventory of percussion instruments from around the world.   The prices may seem high to newcomers, but are far less than at retail stores.  In general, the exotic imported percussion instruments, which your tribe would be most interested in,  are the least expensive.  Their URL is:

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.

1 Comment


    this past summer (2015) I frequently went to Branson, MO. If you have not been there, they have an upscale shopping center near the water called “the Landing”. I did not pay a lot of attention at the time, but there was a music group that had a kiosk to sell the pan flutes you describe plus Andean style goods. They performed the music you talk about. I did not know my cuzns were playing at Branson. I do not know if they will be back. (no females in the group..).


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