By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza
Sicuris Qhantati Ururi de Conima
The group Qhantati Ururi (whose present day official name is "Conjunto de Música y Danzas Autóctonas Qhantati Ururi de Conima") first appeared in Conima (Moho province, department of Puno, southern Peru) towards 1830 under the name Sicuris Chojña Mokk'o (ch'uxña muqu; in Aymara, "green hillock", in honor of the stations of the cross of Conima). It was later known as Lágrimas Oscuras (1854), Sicuris Sociedad Conima (at the end of the 19th century) and Conjunto de Sicuris Qhantati Ururi de Conima (1913). Under the latter (in Aymara, "morning star") the group made itself known beyond its homeland; the name together with its emblem (a star with eight points) and its distinctive bombos (drums) decorated with red and white triangles did much for the band's presentation in public.
Qhantati Ururi came first to Lima in 1939, and there the band attracted the interest and admiration of the audience, for they not limited themselves to play the famous sikuriadas that were traditional to Conima region, but also played other "tropas" (groups) of Aymara aerophones from the Altiplano (high plateau) like those consisting of different sizes of pinkillos, tarkas, quena quenas or phalawatas.
During these years, Qhantati Ururi has toured both nationally and internationally and left behind a tail of new "grass roots initiatives" (music groups considered as "branches" of the band) in different places of South America. To date, they have released three studio albums: "Qhantati Ururi – Lucero del Amanecer" in 1965, "Conima" in 1994 and a double CD in 2004.
One of the group's most distinctive features is the so called "Conima style". Developed and popularized by Qhantati Ururi (including the so called "lentos" or slow, "choclos" or corncob, and "ligeros" or light sikuris) it is characterized by all the different sizes that form the "tropa" of sikus being tuned in parallel thirds, what creates a particular harmony that makes this one different from the rest of the "tropas" from the high-plateau region (tuned in parallel fifths and octaves). USA-born ethnomusicologist Thomas Turino used the group's characteristic musical style as the basis for his book "Moving Away from Silence".
Picture 01. Early performances of Qhantati Ururi.
Picture 02. Distinctive drum played by Qhantati Ururi.
Picture 03. Qhantati Ururi playing 01.
Picture 04. Qhantati Ururi playing 02.
Picture 05. Qhantati Ururi playing 03.
Picture 06. Rehearsal of Qhantati Ururi.
Qhantati Ururi's YouTube video channel.