The Rival Seats of Rich Peru

To yon dim rounds first elevate thy view;
See Quito’s plains o’erlook their proud Peru;
On whose huge base, like isles amid sky driven,
A vast protuberance props the cope of heaven;
Earth’s loftiest turrets there contend for height,
And all our Andes fill the bounded sight.
From south to north what long blue swells arise,
Built thro the clouds, and lost in ambient skies!
Approaching slow they heave expanding bounds,
The yielding concave bends sublimer rounds;
Whose wearied stars, high curving to the west,
Pause on the summits for a moment’s rest;
Recumbent there they renovate their force,
And roll rejoicing on their downward course.
Round each bluff base the sloping ravine bends;
Hills forms on hills, and croupe o’er croupe extends;
Ascending, whitening, how the crags are lost,
O’erhung with headcliffs of eternal frost!
Broad fields of ice give back the morning ray,
Like walls of suns, or heaven’s perennial day…

The Columbiad, Book I , by Joel Barlow, 1807

Now to yon southern cities turn thy view,
And mark the rival seats of rich Peru.
See Quito’s airy plains, exalted high,
With loftier temples rise along the sky;
And elder Cusco’s shining roofs unfold,
Flame on the day, and shed their suns of gold…
Where the brave roll of Incas love to trace
The distant father of their realm and race,
Immortal Capac. He, in youthful pride,
With young Oella his illustrious bride,
Announced their birth divine; a race begun
From heaven, the children of their God the Sun…

The Columbiad , Book II , by Joel Barlow

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Bleeding Balm: Other Mexicos

For me the balm shall bleed, and amber flow,
The coral redden, and the ruby glow,
The pearly shell its lucid globe infold,
And Phœbus warm the ripening ore to gold.
The time shall come, when, free as seas or wind,
Unbounded Thames shall flow for all man-kind,
Whole nations enter with each swelling tide,
And seas but join the regions they divide;
Earth’s distant ends our glory shall behold,
And the new world launch forth to seek the old.
Then ships of uncouth form shall stem the tide,
And feather’d people crowd my wealthy side;
And naked youths and painted chiefs admire
Our speech, our colour, and our strange attire!
O stretch thy reign, fair Peace! from shore to shore,
Till conquest cease, and slavery be no more;
Till the freed Indians in their native groves
Reap their own fruits, and woo their sable loves;
Peru once more a race of kings behold,
And other Mexicos be roof’d with gold.

Pope Afrom: Windsor Forest

Muñequita

Could but her sacred name, unknown so long,
Rise, like her labors, to the son of song,
To her, to them, I’d consecrate my lays,
And blow her pudding with the breath of praise.
If ’twas Oella, whom I sang before,
I here ascribe her one great virtue more.
Not through the rich Peruvian realms alone
The fame of Sol’s sweet daughter should be known,
But o’er the world’s wide climes should live secure,
Far as his rays extend, as long as they endure…

[ The Hasty Pudding, by Joel Barlow, 1796 ]

Mountains of Music

I bought this album on cassette at an open-air market near Tacubaya train station when I visited Mexico City in 1998.
Rapidly the music entered my soul, and it helped me learn Spanish. I had always loved Inca Flute music but I was not aware of all the contemporary variations that exist. It can be confusing; the style called Cumbia Andina is actually a Mexican spin-off from true Andean folkloric music. It is also different from, though related to Chicha, which is pop/rock cumbia from the Andes. I love all of this music, although I did not grow up with it and don’t know a wide variety of groups.

Wikipedia explains:

Peruvian cumbia, particularly from the 1960s to mid-1990s, is generally known as “Chicha”, although this definition is quite problematic as both Peruvian cumbia and Chicha currently co-exist and influence each other   […]
Peruvian cumbia started in the 1960s with groups such as Los Destellos, and later with Juaneco y Su Combo, Los Mirlos, Los Shapis, Cuarteto Continental, Los Diablos Rojos, Pintura Roja, Chacalon y la Nueva Crema and Grupo Néctar. Some musical groups that play Peruvian cumbia today are: Agua Marina, Armonia 10, Agua Bella, and Grupo 5. These groups would be classified as Cumbia but often take songs and techniques from Chicha and Huayno in their stylings or as songs. Grupo Fantasma was a Peruvian-Mexican cumbia group. Andean Cumbia, is a style that combines Andean music and cumbia. This style has even become popular in Mexico, as some groups like Grupo Saya claim to be Cumbia andina mexicana, Mexican Andean Cumbia.