Los Masis


In 1969, a handful of aspiring young Bolivian musicians from Sucre, Bolivia, took a bold step to use native Andean music and dance as a way to change prevailing attitudes of discrimination against the country’s indigenous peoples. They organized the city’s first traditional Andean music group, Los Masis, dressing in the colorful ponchos of the region’s Tarabuco indigenous peoples. Los Masis has been performing throughout Bolivia and abroad for over three decades. They started a music school for young people to ensure that traditional music, especially Quechua lyrics and melodies, would live on for future generations. Part of their methodology has been to conduct music research in Andean communities to incorporate diverse repertoires and dance costumes in their programs. They helped establish the region’s first bilingual Quechua-Spanish school in the rural Tarabuco community of Miskhamayu, a model for Bolivia’s path-breaking bilingual educational reform incorporating the Quechua language for the first time after a long history of exclusion. Los Masis will be playing at the 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival as part of the One World, Many Voices: Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage program.

Watch Past Performances

Video 6/27/2013: Los Masis

The traditional Bolivian ensemble, which plays and promotes Bolivian folkloric music, offers a performance of traditional Andean music. Part of the 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Los Masis