Musical performance is strongly gendered in Ayllu Chayantaka. In music associated with courtship, the most frequent kind of musical performance, girls sing and boys play string instruments.




The two most common performance occasions are native fiestas, whose dates are determined by the cyclical agricultural-religious calendar, and folkloric festivales sponsored by Bolivian NGOs. The courtship music of fiestas forms the basis for festival performance as well, though performers make some strategic changes in song texts and in presentational style in order to compete in the festival context.




Ritual sound-producing by adults is also gendered. During the cabildo ceremony for the changing of the jilanq'u or the village head man, the chinkis (classificatory sisters) of the incoming and outgoing head men play a small drum called juchana. Their husbands (tulqas, literally "brothers-in-law") blow the pululu (an instrument made from a gourd) and intermittently chant the syllable sir.




Chayantaka also play several different kinds of panpipes and vertical flutes. Musical performance often takes the form of a competition between groups who try to best each other by playing louder and longer. While during 1993 no Chayantaka communities had a brass band, they do appreciate banda music, and sometimes hire bands from outside their ayllu to play at their fiestas. On these occasions, the mestizo brass band and a local panpipe ensemble may engage in a musical duel.




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