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    Land of winds > Rhythms and styles > Rhythm | Issue 08 (Nov.-Dec. 2011)
    By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza

Tonada potosina

Tonada potosina

Also known as “tonada nor potosina” or “norte potosina” (from northern Potosí), and even “tonada tinku” or simply “tinku”, it has a catchy, lively rhythm characteristic of the Potosí department (Bolivia) and the surrounding areas belonging to the departments of Chuquisaca and Oruro.

It is traditionally played on charangos, guitarrillas and guitars, and the lyrics are sung in Quechua language. It has been popularized by urban groups which have incorporated aerophones and percussion and have even adapted the rhythm to electronic instruments.

At the same time as the appearance of the “tinku” dance (a modern creation “inspired” by the tinku ceremonies and ritual fights, though bearing little or no resemblance to the original) it also came out the “tinku” rhythm, a kind of derivative of the tonada potosina with stronger accents that usually features wind instruments such as quenas and zampoñas (notched flutes and panpipes). Although present-day urban Andean groups no longer distinguish between the original and the derivative, their differences became clear when comparing modern performances with peasant tonadas played on charangos makiruwa (“handmade”) and khonkhotas (or q’onq’otas).

Video 01. Tonada potosina with khonkhota, at Festival Virgen de Urkupiña 2009.
Video 02. “Aquí estamos presente” (tonada potosina), by Karumanta.
Video 03. “Phutucum” (tonada norte potosina), by Norte Potosí.
Video 04. “Cholita Marcela” (tinku layqa), by Dúo Takiytinku.
Video 05. “Wist’u imillita” (tonada norte potosina), by Llajtaymanta.
Video 06. “El autito” (tonada norte potosina), by Sapahaqui Bolivia.
Video 07. “Mi llajtita” (tonada norte potosina), by Pedro Ramos.
Video 08. “Celia” (tinku), by Los Masis.
Video 09. “Rosa blanca” (tinku), by Los Taquipayas.

Picture A.

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