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Song Andean music
    Land of winds > Music > Song | Issue 12 (Nov.-Dec.2012)
    By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza

El ritmo negro

(Edwin Castellanos and Luis Fernando Torrico. In "A los 500 años", Los Kjarkas, 1994)

El ritmo negro

Despite not being their creation, Los Kjarkas have popularized and spread the rhythm/style known as saya andina or saya boliviana (Andean or Bolivian saya). It basically resembles a huayno that has had its structure only slightly modified to give it a more "afro" sound. The instrumentation is similar to that used for the huayno (with the addition of some percussion instruments to back up its allegedly African origin) and the lyrics usually stress the supposed passion shown in the folk songs and dances of black people. Not surprisingly, none of these elements really fits what the authentic Afro-Bolivian saya.

Starting with famous "Llorando se fue" (on "Canto a la mujer de mi pueblo", 1981) and following with "Mi samba, mi negra" (on "El árbol de mi destino", 1992), Los Kjarkas have many followers within the "Afro-Bolivian music", what has brought them fame and sales success. In 1994 appeared "El ritmo negro", one of the most elaborated and thorough sayas andinas of their repertoire.

El ritmo negro del corazón, el ritmo negro.
Saya boliviana, saya, saya de los Yungas.

[The black rhythm of the heart, the black rhythm.
Bolivian saya, saya, saya from the Yungas.]

Como mueven las caderas al ritmo negro.
Se siente fuego en la sangre, fuego en los morenos.

[They way they move their hips to the black rhythm.
Makes feel fire in the blood, fire in the blacks.]

De los Yungas de Bolivia viene la saya.
Música afroboliviana, afroboliviana.

[From the Yungas of Bolivia the saya comes.
Afro-Bolivian music, Afro-Bolivian.]

Vamos a bailar la saya, el ritmo negro.
Que no se acabe la fiesta de los morenos.

[Let’s dance the saya, the black rhythm.
Let’s not stop the party of the blacks.]

¡Vamos a bailar la saya boliviana!
[Let’s dance the Bolivian saya!]

Video 01. "El ritmo negro", by Los Kjarkas.

Picture A.

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