Tag Archives: Peruvian Quechua

Peruvian Sociolinguist, Miryam Yataco, Writes About the Social Significance of Liberato Kani and “El Quechua en Resistencia”

Liberato Kani: El Quechua en Resistencia

There are artists that represent the ethos of their times, the Zeitgeist—anticipating, reflecting and shaping the aesthetics of the present, and the times to come.

I met Liberato Kani when he invited me to participate in his latest musical video Harawi Boombap. Although I was the oldest in the crowd of really young people, and felt a bit out of generation, I also felt quite honored to be part of this new video clip. By this time, I had been keenly following Liberato´s production. I knew I was witnessing an individual pioneering something new. In every generation there are artists who represent and condense a specific moment in history and who also announce new paradigms. Liberato, I felt at that moment, had begun generating new mappings for the language, the mapping of Quechua in Peru´s urban space.

Quechua has in Liberato Kani an emerging artist who represents the language’s vitality and signals without any doubt, hope and strength. Through his urban intervention, Quechua shows its colors and dynamism from within. This, I think is being felt by many – young and not so young –in Peru at present.

An artist, characterized by using the Quechua language as a motif and also as a medium in his rap-poetry creations, Liberato erupts in an almost all Spanish-only pop-rap Peruvian musical environment. Young people in Peru now have the possibility to listen, sing and maybe start speaking and understanding some Quechua without participating in a formal class.

Liberato is associated by birth and by his language patrimony to Andahuaylas and San Juan de Lurigancho two places characterized as highly Quechua-embedded. You are sure to hear the language in these two places. Quechua is spoken by more than 4 million speakers in Peru. These are large speech communities that have been traditionally invisible to a monolingual Spanish-only state. For the 12 to 10 million of speakers of Quechua in South America, exclusion, marginalization and language discrimination have all been part of their daily lives … personally and collectively, for years and years and years.

Over the past decade, efforts on part of some Latin American countries have been made to balance inequalities, resulting in new laws on recognition, protection and ¨inclusion¨ of indigenous language communities. For some languages at risk, this comes all too late. Many languages are on a brink of disappearing. Having but a few mother- tongue speakers at an elder age, their future seems grim. Recent generations have been denied the possibility to inherit their own language patrimony, a phenomenon we may call “stolen tongues.”

Linguist Ghilad Zuckerman sees these threatened languages that still hold potential for recovery as “sleeping beauties¨. Though the revival or revitalization processes are strongly associated to speech communities´ strong input. The perception that efforts to save and revitalize these languages are solely a matter of Language Policy intervention* crafted by official (usually non-indigenous) representatives of these modern Latin American states is again false hope. In this context, Liberato Kani’s rap shows up, as a surprise, and with a dignified response.

Artists like Liberato Kani emerge from the community, self-made, self-developing. It represents an intervention that is from the heart of Quechua-speaking communities, Quechua youth, from the ones long made invisible. This makes Liberato an authentic sign of language revival… a wave born strictly from within.

Liberato appears in the spirit of the language itself—strong, self-assured, articulate, and above all brave. With his demeanor and his spoken word, Liberato says, I am not a victim, I am proud of who I am, I am proud and grounded in my elders’ spoken word. This is who I am and I make no excuses for me, I am proud of who I am, in strength I am here to stay—me, my language my heritage, I am this country. Here in a master interview by El Montonero.

Moreover Liberato (a son of a Master Danzaq, Picaflor de Umamarca) comes across as an independent broker; he is an indie multimedia producer, sharing his work through the use of technology and the virtual world. He is what Zapata and Biondi call a Nómade Electronal**, going straight from the Oral register into the electronal or virtual world and redefining social interaction between Quechua speaking youth and mainstream Peru.

Quechua siminchikta tukuy ñankunapi rimasun wawqipaniykuna
– Liberato Kani

¨Allá los que quieran ver el quechua y quechua hablantes como excluidos. Allá quienes quieren seguir viéndolos como pasado fosilizado. Si la escribalidad aplastó esas voces hoy la electronalidad se las devuelve. Con mirada al futuro.¨
Dr. Eduardo Zapata

* Revitalizing languages require a lot more than Top-Down efforts.
** Nómades Electronales: Lo que nos dicen las escrituras de los jóvenes (2017) Eduardo Zapata Cárdenas, Juan Biondi Editorial(es): Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas. Lugar de publicación: Lima.

Author: Miryam Yataco, language rights advocate and sociolinguist. Her research has focused on language policies, and language practices marked by exclusion, marginalization and language discrimination.

Liberato Kani
You can join his Facebook Page at Liberatokani
LIBERATO KANI with his Grandmother, ANDAHUAYLAS APURIMAC video
Liberato Kani en HIP HOP PERU video
Liberato Kani LA RESISTENCIA DEL QUECHUA EN HIP HOP access
Liberato Kani in the NEWS video
Liberato Kani at the TEATRO NACIONAL with Uchpa and La Sarita video
JAMMIN Liberato Kani “Mana urmaspa” video
RIMAY PUEBLO – CD
Liberato Kani and Renata Flores

Presentations and Bibliographical References consulted:

Biondi, Juan y Zapata, Eduardo
1994 Representación oral en las calles de Lima. Universidad de Lima.
2006 La Palabra Permanente. Verba manent, scripta volant: Teoría y prácticas de la oralidad en el discurso social del Perú.” Fondo Editorial del Congreso del Perú.

Biondi, Juan, y Zapata, Eduardo
2017 NÓMADES ELECTRONALES. Lo que nos dicen las escrituras de los jóvenes: había que echarse a andar nuevamente. @Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas UPC.

Language Rights, Derechos Linguisticos, Lenguas en riesgo. Access on Facebook

Zuckermann, Ghilad: Sleeping Beauties Awake. Access

Advertisements

Indigenous Languages on the Airwaves

Posted by Ximena Málaga Sabogal, PhD student in Anthropology at NYU

MalagaSabogal_Peru_ROA

Norma interviews professor Equicio Paxi in Radio Onda Azul

It is 3 am and, if I am to believe my cellphone, it is also -9°C in Puno, Peru. Even if there was heating in the place where I am staying (and there is none) I would probably still be cold. But my excitement compensates the weather as I am heading once again to Radio Onda Azul (ROA) for its “Quechua Rimayninchik” weekday program. Andean music, plenty of jokes, calls from communities far away, but also reflections on the state of indigenous peoples nowadays: all of these and more come together from 3 to 5 am. Chaska and Norma, two women in their early 30s, are in charge of facilitating these exchanges and making sure that the conversation keeps flowing.

Continue reading

Indigenous Puno?

MalagaSabogal_Peru_Puno.JPG

Posted by Ximena Málaga Sabogal – PhD student in Anthropology at NYU

It has been a couple of weeks since I arrived in Puno, one of the biggest cities in the southern Peruvian Andes. I have a long history with this city, having researched in the area throughout my bachelor and masters degree. Still, Puno was always a place to go through, in order to get somewhere else. This time I am going to spend two months in the city, going through the archives and talking to people who can somehow enlighten me on my research topic. Although I am an anthropologist, I also have a background in history and always try to bring these two together in my research. I am interested in the Aymara and Quechua identity definitions and its connections with the international indigenous movement.

Who is indigenous? What does it even mean? For a long time, this was not a question being asked in Peru. El problema del Indio (the Indian problem) became a topic at the beginning of the 20th century but the question about who is indio was not put forward until the last decades. As in Latin America more broadly, ethnicity in Peru is constructed through a combination of quite fluid physical and cultural categories that are sometimes claimed as means of self-identification, but more often ascribed by others. During the first half of the 20th century, the category of race became culturized (and culture became racialized) which led to even more complications in the definitions of who the indio was. From an elite and “white” perspective, national progress required de-indianization of the country’s population, to be accomplished through education and literacy, while the growing rural-to-urban migration process watered down distinct cultural characteristics of those who only a decade before were considered by the state as definitely Indian. Velasco Alvarado’s revolutionary government (1968-1975) further advanced the process of de-indianization, although for different reasons, advocating for the use of the term “peasant.

Continue reading

Educación Intercultural Bilingüewan Ayacucho-Perupi Yachachiq Raul llamk’an


Kay podcastpi Natalie Povilonis de Vilchez, lingüística yachaq Universidad de Nueva Yorkpi kaspa, Raul Velasquez Palominowan rimanku Antawaylla llaqtapi Peru suyupi. Raul Talavera llaqtapi, Peru suyupi paqarirqa wakpiraq tiyan warminwan iskay churinwan. Paqarisqanmanta iskay simikunata riman wasinpi, kikllupi, ayllunwan, riqsisqankunawan. Payqa iskay simipi educación intercultural bilingüe nisqanta yachachin, rimasaqku llamkananmanta, kawsayninmanta, ayllunmanta ima. Chay kawsasqanmanta willanqa yachananchikpaq.

En este podcast Natalie Povilonis de Vilchez, estudiante de doctorado de lingüística en la Universidad de Nueva York, habla con Raúl Velásquez Palomino en Andahuaylas, Perú. Raúl nació en Talavera, Perú donde todavía vive con su esposa y sus dos hijas. Raúl habla dos lenguas desde su nacimiento. El habla en dos lenguas en contextos familiares y con sus amigos. Él es profesor de Educación Intercultural Bilingüe en Quechua y español. En este Podcast, Natalie y Raul conversan sobre el trabajo que Raúl realiza. Él nos habla acerca de su familia y sus experiencias de vida.

In this podcast Natalie Povilonis de Vilchez, PhD student at New York University, speaks with Raul Velasquez Palomino in Andahuaylas, Peru. He was born in the town of Talavera in Peru, and he still lives there with his wife and two daughters. From birth he has spoken two languages at home and in public, with his family and with his friends. He teaches Intercultural Bilingual Education in Quechua and Spanish. They converse about his work, his way of life, and his family. He tells us about his way of life so that we can learn.