By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza
The jula jula is considered one of the oldest and most authentic sikuri styles (when sikus or zampoñas (panpipes) are played in consorts of different sizes). Of pre-Hispanic origins, pentatonic, slow and heavy, is featured as “vigorous” and of “martial spirit”, and has resemblance to the sikus chiriguanos (chiriwanus).
It is usually played between February and April in almost every region of northern Potosí department (Bolivia) and in bordering areas of the departments of Oruro, Chuquisaca and Cochabamba. It is commonly performed at religious festivals (Fiesta de la Cruz in San Francisco, Fiesta del Rosario in Aymaya, Fiesta de Santiago in Chayanta, Fiesta de la Exaltación in Cala Cala) and provides the sound framework for the tinku ceremonies and ritual fights, which are not fixed to a calendar period.
The tropas of jula jula sikus comprise between 20 and 50 players who play in hocket with pairs of 4- (arka) and 3-tubes (ira). These instruments are made of sokhosa cane, and have five different sizes (orkho, mali, liku, tijti and ch’ili) tuned in octaves. Unlike other ensembles of Andean flutes, jula jula panpipes are neither accompanied by the wank’ara drum nor by any other membranophone or idiophone.
Jula jula players blow their flutes and dance at the same time marching like warriors. This is a rural style hardly found in urban areas, although nowadays it can be heard at some festivals such as the one devoted to the Virgen de Urkupiña (Quillacollo, Cochabamba department).
Picture 01. Jula jula player 01.
Picture 02. Jula jula player 02.
Picture 03. Jula julas players 01.
Picture 04. Jula jula player 03.
Picture 05. Jula julas played in consort.
Picture 06. Jula julas players 02.
Video 01. “Jula julas”, by Nayjama.
Video 02. “Jula jula”, by Zenón Mamani.
Video 03. Jula jula ensemble from the community Pichata (Potosí).
Video 04. Jula jula ensemble, by Fundación ACLO.
Video 05. “Jula julas”, by Agrupación Apthapi.
Video 06. “Jula julas”, by Arawi.