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Andean readings
    Land of winds > Recommended readings > Recommended readings | Issue 17 (Jan.-Feb. 2014)
    By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza
La danza de tijeras y el violín de Lucanas

Manuel Arce Sotelo
La danza de tijeras y el violín de Lucanas
(Lima: IFEA, PUCP, 2006)
Illustr. – 168 pp. + DVD


In this work, published by the Institut Français d'Études Andines in association with the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, the author offers an approach to both the repertoire of the "Andean" violin, and the "Danza de las tijeras" [Peruvian scissors dance] and their performers. The book explores this Peruvian cultural expression as it occurs in the town of Andamarca (province of Lucanas, department of Ayacucho) during the yarqa aspiy, the cleaning of the old irrigation canals, which takes place coinciding with the festivities of St Isidro, St Rose and St Francisco Day's. In the section dealing with the violin, the author describes, among many other things, the hand position on the instrument and the way it has to be held while players march through the streets in procession. Arce Sotelo explains that many traditional players tune their instrument "higher" (for its sound to be best heard in open spaces over the crowd noise), and mentions that they are able to identify major and minor melody lines as well as the tuning in which they are playing. The author's concerns go beyond the musicological study and he also examines the social and cultural context of music and dance to provide a detailed ethnographic account. As Arce Sotelo notices, when detached from its context, the "Danza de las tijeras" looses most of its meaning, character and identity, and this is precisely what is happening in the big towns and cities of the country, where this unique expression has become a folkloric spectacle.


Article. "La danza de las tijeras y el violín de Lucanas". [Review]. By María Eugenia Ulfe. In Anthropologica, 25 (25), 2007 [es].


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