The Gossiper's/Musicians Whistles

Village BandIt is a matter of intense pride that each small Peruvian village has its own band of musicians. The problem, however, is that if they use their own musicians when they have a fiesta (party), there would be no one left to party! So, as a practical solution to the problem, they "borrow" the musicians from neighboring villages to play at their party. The Gossipers

The musicians are complemented by a choir of women singing sad and plaintive music. These singers have a soprano register and have the custom of putting one of their hands over their mouths in order to modulate their voices.

The visiting musicians and singers were fed and furnished copious amounts of "chica" (a local alcoholic beverage derived from cactus) and given token pottery figurines in appriciation for their contribution to the fiesta (even today, rural Peru is on the barter system - there is no money!). These designs became commercially successful in the 1980's and are now known as the "Musicians" and the "Gossipers" whistles. More about the Gossipers?


(Click on Image for Enlarged View and Product Information)
Gossipers Whistle 3
Gossipers Whistle 3
Musicians Whistle 23
Musicians Whistle 23
Musicians Whistle 23
Musicians Whistle 23


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The Peruvian Musician Whistle

There were three basic types of musicians who performed at Andean Village fiestas:

Cachimbos who were composed of individuals who had learned to play trumpets, coronets, trombones, base, and snare drums while serving in the Peruvian military.

Native orchestras played harp, violin, and a hide drum.

Chunchos came from the Ayacucho jungle. They played pipes and antaras and visited the villages dressed in full-length tunics carrying a small woven bag with medicinal plants which they used to prepare beverages or potions to heal/cure the ill. They were called "Chunchos" (witches) which in the native language of Quechua is a disparaging term for uncultured or uncivilized people.

The musicians employed a choir of women singing a sad and plaintive music intoned by Andean women. These singers have a soprano register and have the custom of putting one of their hands over their mouths in order to modulate their voices.

In appreciation for their contributions to the fiesta, the musicians and singers were presented ceramic vessels filled with chica (a local alcoholic beverage derived from cactus). These designs became commercially successful in the 1980's and are now known as the "Musicians" and the "Gossipers" whistles. Thus, both the Musicians and the Gossipers were initially made for a ceremonial function, and are now made for decorative purposes.