Afro-Peruvian music blends Spanish, African and indigenous melodies and rhythms with energetic flair. Some of the most popular rhythms accompany dances such as the marinera, an intricate courtship dance in 6/8 time, the festejo, a fast celebration dance also done in 6/8 and the lando, a 3/4 rhythm that comes from an African fertility dance. The genre’s most widely used instrument is the CAJON, a box drum with Peruvian origins that has since spread to Cuba and has even become an instrumental part of flamenco. Watch Fernando “Polo” Balanta play the Peruvian cajon. Another percussion instrument that appears in Afro-Peruvian ensembles is the donkey jawbone, or quijada, which the player scrapes with a stick to make the loose teeth rattle.
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