Kay rimaypi Chimore llaqtapi Gladyswan tata Renewan parlarichkanku. Ñawpaqtaqa tata rene pichus kasqanta riqsirichikun. Chantaqa imatachus chay UNIBOL jatun yachay wasipi yachachisqanmanta parlarin, astawampis ñawpaq yuyaykuna mana chinkananmanta. Chantataq ima pachapichus sach’a k’utunamanta parlaspa tukuchin.
En este diálogo Gladys y don Rene están conversando en Chimoré, un pueblo en Bolivia central. Primero, don Rene da a conocer su biografía. Luego, habla sobre lo que enseña en la Universidad Indígena Boliviana (UNIBOL), sobre todo, que no debe perderse los saberes ancestrales. Y, termina, hablando sobre la época en la que se puede cortar árboles; ya que, de acuerdo a la cosmovisión quechua para que la madera sea duradera. Los árboles se pueden cortar cuando estos estén maduros, por el mes de marzo, y no cuando estén retoñando, por el mes de agosto.
In this conversation Gladys Camacho Ríos is talking with Don Rene in Chimoré, a town in central Bolivia. First, Rene shares his personal story. Later, he talks about what he learned at the Indigenous University of Bolivia (UNIBOL), above all, that it is important not to lose ancestral knowledge. And he ends talking about when one can cut trees, according to Quechua cosmovision, so that the wood is durable. The trees can be cut when they are mature, in March, and when they are not sprouting, by August.
Posted by Ximena Málaga Sabogal, PhD student in Anthropology at NYU
I am used to being asked what anthropology is and what, as an anthropologist, do I “actually” do. I usually have a different set of answers depending on my interlocutors. But something that I always have to deal with is the “classical” definition of anthropology, the one that implies studying “a traditional way of life”. Although that definition can be a good starting point for a conversation, I try to bring it to and interest in social changes as soon as I can. If not, how to explain that analyzing the ways in which radio affects – or comes from – everyday life is also anthropology? When studying media as social and cultural repertories, anthropologists have a lot of competition in the field. I am constantly mistaken for a journalist working on a piece, which changes the interactions with my interlocutors.
What has this interest on radio to do with my search for Aymara and Quechua identity definitions and its connections with the international indigenous movement? In Puno the answer is: a lot. Radio has been present in Altiplano’s peasants’ life for a long time. In part due to the low electrification of the region, radio has been – and in some districts of Puno still is – the most popular communication device. The first radio to begin operations in Puno was Onda Azul, back in the 1950s. This is not only the first radio, it is also a very special one. It comes from an early initiative of Puno’s Catholic Church and answers to the developmental model of educación popular. In a time when Puno had one of the highest levels of illiteracy, Onda Azul worked hand in hand with the Peruvian government to develop a program of escuelas radiofónicas. Radios were given in different communities in the Aymara and Quechua sectors of Puno and every day the people would come together to listen to classes and solve exercises with the help of a facilitator. At the end of the school year, the Ministry of Education would organize exams for the people involved in the radio classes, and hand out official diplomas to the ones who passed everything.
From June 17th to the 19th the Quechua/Kichwa film showcase May Sumak! (How Beautiful!) is going on the road to Washington, D.C. The showcase is a celebration of indigenous and community filmmaking in the Quechua languages spoken throughout the Andes and by immigrants in the United States. Created in 2015 by the CLACS student-led Runasimi Outreach Committee (ROC), May Sumak! will be part of the National Museum of the American Indian’s ongoing exhibition The Great Inka Road. The opening night will feature the film Killa and Q&A with its director Ecuadorian filmmaker Alberto Muenala. This conversation will be hosted by CLACS alum and former ROC member Charlie Uruchima. Click here for more details on the films, show times and venues.
Posted by Dusty Christensen – MA Candidate at CLACS / Global Journalism at NYU
Kichwa men in the village of Turuku digging a ditch for a water pipe as part of a communal work day known as a minga. (Photo by Dusty Christensen)
Early in the morning, before the daily summer winds start to howl, the music comes blaring out of the church loudspeaker. The guitars, charangos and flutes carry across the village of Turuku, waking everyone who wasn’t already out in the fields. Though the announcement won’t come for another hour, everyone knows what the wake-up call is for — today is a communal work day.
Alberto Anrango, the president of the indigenous village of Turuku, announcing the minga over the village loudspeakers. (Photo by Dusty Christensen)
At 7 o’clock — an hour after the music has started — community President Alberto Anrango pics up the mic and begins his impromptu speech. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he begins in Kichwa, his voice crackling over the old speakers mounted on top of the chapel roof. “Don’t forget that today is the minga.” He urges everyone to bring pickaxes and shovels, and warns that those skipping today will be fined by the village government.