16. Mayan Peace Song

An All Around This World classroom and homeschool lesson from Mexico -- "Mayan Peace Song" -- A Mayan folk song

Mayan culture is so ancient that most Mayan music has been lost, but contemporary interpretations of potentially ancient melodies like the one used in this Mayan folk song still exist. Researchers believe that music was very important in Mayan culture, especially in funeral ceremonies, during which it is believed that drummers and flute players would follow the casket of well-respected women, sealing their instruments into the burial tomb at the end of the march. Music also apparently was part of ceremonies and celebrations involving war. Archaeologists have found drums and whistles in the houses of many “lower class” Mayans, suggesting that in Mayan culture music was not just reserved for the elite.

A scratchy version of this tune, listed as “Song of Peace, Chalchuitan,” appears on the Smithsonian Folkways release, “Modern Mayan: The Indian Music of Chiapas, Mexico – Vol. 1 .

Country: Mexico
Language: (vocables)
Genre on CD: Aztec, Mayan
Instruments on CD: Huehuetl, Rain stick, Teponaztli

Enjoy some Mayam-style music performed by a family of musicians in the street in Guatamalea

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Vocals: Sofia Rei
Percussion: Arturo Stable

Vocals recorded at Headgear Recording, Brooklyn, New York

Percussion engineering by Arturo Stable

Original is called "Song of Peace, Chalchiuitan" © Alpha Film Music on behalf of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, translation and arrangement by Jay Sand with permission, Vocal arrangement by Arturo Stable and Sofia Rei
Listen to the original on the Smithsonian Folkways release, "Modern Mayan: The Indian Music of Chiapas, Mexico - Vol. 1."

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