Incas in the Land of Sheba [Archives:1998/24/Last Page]

June 15 1998

What does Yemen know about Latin America? Little in the way of culture and more about the guerrilla wars occurring there. All it takes is one musical group from the region to come here and people will begin to put their knowledge into correct perspective and learn more about the culture there.
The Somos Peru group numbering 7, invited by the International Women’s Association, has presented a folkloric dance show at the Yemen Cultural Center. It is the first folkloric group coming from Latin America. There are no diplomatic relations between Yemen and any Latin American country except Cuba, but music and culture go a long way in helping establish bridges between countries.
The Somos Peru group danced to many numbers such as ‘Huay Lars’ and the ‘Marinera Nortena’. Two musicians played many numbers on the Peruvian flute, guitar, drums. The mouth piece of their flute or ‘quena’ is made without bamboo while the resonance chamber of their guitar or ‘charango’ is made from the body of the armadillo. A percussion instrument, the ‘bombo’ bound with the hide of deer, gave out a piercing tune. The six dancers including a six year old girl danced to tunes such as ‘Puno’ or the potato harvest.
The characteristic costumes of the Peruvian performers with their brightly colored vests and hats added warmth to the musical atmosphere. Generally speaking the dance and song are influenced by Spanish music and the Incan civilization. The dances and songs were greatly admired by the international community in Sanaa. But the real treat was to the Yemeni audience which came across this type of performance for the first time.
By: Martin Dansky,
Yemen Times