The Shipibo-Konibo women sing like this to the Rímac River to heal it of its ills | VIDEO

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As part of the first stage of the project “Revealed Spaces”, four artists from this settled 20 years ago in They will offer for three days “Serenade for a talking river”, a work conceptualized by Sandra Nakamura – visual artist whose practice addresses identity linked to physical spaces – who seeks to highlight the very special relationship that this town has with the river and with the natural environment. The idea, Nakamura says, is “Talk a little about the holistic vision that its inhabitants have of the world, and the culture of beautifying it through their designs and their songs, to heal and repair the relationship we all have with it”.

Now we sing to you

Now we sing to you

To heal you with our voices

So that all the evil that is in you is purified

My dear river Rímac-cito

My dear river Rímac-cito

Because we live at your feet

That is why we heal you with our songs.

READ ALSO | “Revealed Spaces”: Art, heritage and community come together in this project that rescues the forgotten places of Lima

Metsa Rama and Pesin Kate wrote this song that they perform together with Sina Mea and Metsa Kate in front of the river, holding hands. Below them, the immense nine-meter mural that days ago they painted in xao kené (ancestral kené, with thick and angular strokes), with bright colors that contrast with the gray of the local geography, thinking about that fundamental element that flows in the worldview shipibo-konibo: the river.

In the central part of this mural, the meandering celestial figure represents the anaconda, owner and protector of the river. The colors, red and green, of the other designs refer to the flora and fauna of the jungle.
In the central part of this mural, the meandering celestial figure represents the anaconda, owner and protector of the river. The colors, red and green, of the other designs refer to the flora and fauna of the jungle.

“In the jungle, wherever you go, the communities or the people who confuse them are always on the banks of the river. The people who belong to the original towns, we are riverside peoples “says Metsa Rama. “Our grandparents lived near the river in the jungle, surrounded by forests. Here the river is surrounded by hills and stones, but it is very important to us, because thanks to it we live and we have water in our homes. That is why we want to protect it, because it is highly contaminated, ”says Pesin Kate. We are going to clean it with our art, with our designs and our songs ”.

On the other hand, Sina Mea mentions that her songs are also a call to reflection on the care of this vital resource. “You have to be aware to keep the river water clean, because it gives us strength, you have to value it. I also believe that water has the right to be clean “.

Sound art

The songs are linked to all the artistic production of the shipibo town, although here in Lima, above all, what is best known are the murals. On “Serenade for a talking river”, Nakamura highlights this aspect, “the murals, the designs, the ceramics, the embroidery, the facial painting or the one done on the skin, are not dissociated from the song. And just as there are different graphic expressions, there are also many sung expressions. The songs that are best known are the icaros, due to this relationship with ayahuasca and the ceremonial question, but they are not the only songs ”.

Sina Mea (Salomé Buenapico), Pesin Kate (Cordelia Sánchez), Metsa Kate (Rossy Silvano) and Metsa Rama (Pilar Arce), paint their faces before the serenade. (Photo: Alessandro Currarino / El Comercio)
Sina Mea (Salomé Buenapico), Pesin Kate (Cordelia Sánchez), Metsa Kate (Rossy Silvano) and Metsa Rama (Pilar Arce), paint their faces before the serenade. (Photo: Alessandro Currarino / El Comercio)

On Cantagallo it is sung for everything: to heal and heal, to concentrate and create, to paint and embroider, to evoke, to be joyful. The themes that the artists have written for this project are called ‘masha’, more everyday but equally impregnated with a powerful mystical and magical charge that is present in all their cultural production.

I’m singing on the river bank

The wind will drive my voice to the horizon

And my song has to be heard at great distances

and in all communities

I know that one day they will miss me

When my body is gone

Mentioning my name

They will remember that I sang in this place

And I gave my voice to the river. (Excerpt from the theme composed by Metsa Rama)

In total, there are five unpublished songs that during a month, and for the first time, these four mothers have composed who are part of a new generation that wishes to maintain the tradition of transmitting art to their daughters. Some of them will even sing with their little ones. “With this project, in addition to thanking the river, we want to inspire young people to continue on our way and not to lose our identity, that we carry our culture to the top, always with pride like the Shipiba ethnic group that we are, proud of our blood” Metsa Kate points out.

The artists had to go through a studio and record their songs. Recorded songs will play when they are not present. (Photo: Sandra Nakamura)
The artists had to go through a studio and record their songs. Recorded songs will play when they are not present. (Photo: Sandra Nakamura)

More information

The artists will sing “Serenade for a talking river” from today until Sunday, November 14 on a platform visible from the Trujillo bridge (Formerly Av. Malecón Rímac, Cercado de Lima). They will do it from 4 to 4:30 pm The rest of the day, the songs recorded by the artists will be heard.

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The Shipibo-Konibo women sing like this to the Rímac River to heal it of its ills | VIDEO