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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