This week, Henrietta Yurchenco will play a number of examples of Pre-Columbian Indian music, from her own collection of field recordings, conducted in Mexico & Guatemala. This includes music from totally isolated rural communities living as they have for thousands of years, as well as examples of the last remnants of music from the great Mayan cities, the high Mayan civilization. Henrietta gives us a first hand account from the pioneer days of ethnomusicology; bad roads or no roads at all, mountains, deserts, scorpions & mules. Henrietta and Eli discuss early dubiously portable recording equipment, shamans and shamanism, animal sacrifice, peyote rituals…and lots more.
Pre-Columbian Indian Music of Mexico & Guatemala
Check out below photos from Henrietta’s journeys. Particularly the photos of “Baile De Las Canastas”- The Dance of the Baskets. These are the only photos of an ancient piece of Mayan theater celebrating the transition from hunter-gather society into sedentary agricultural society (growing corn). This play is now vanished, seemingly for good.
Baile De Las Canastas (Dance of the Baskets)
Top: Henrietta Yurchenco with Mexican Indian
Bottom: Henrietta with photographer Augustin Maya and unidentified woman
Mexican Indian playing drum
Promo-photo for recording machine used by Henrietta Yurchenco in the field.