News from the Ecuadorian rainforest where reggaeton, cumbia and hip hop became more successful than the local Shuar Music.
I was really thrilled when the Youth Department of my hometown asked me to fly to South America. Destination Ecuador! The task: to shoot a short video on women’s labor in the forest. «Yes! Ok!» I said on the phone. Excited to find out more about this new destination.
After less than one day on a plane, I was there already. I spent a few days in Quito, and then made my way towards the rainforest. Destination Macas, a sleepy settlement that over the years has attracted miners, gold diggers and greedy gringos hectic to make money out of the trees.
Music saved my life – once again. Through music I got in contact with the local people. Shuar music, a style performed by the second main ethnic group in Ecuador is not played too often these days – it is replaced by new vibes and tunes, imported from US, but from other Latin American countries as well. Shuar music is accompanied by a foot stepping dance. The rhythm is very monotone, and the songs differ in the lyrics mainly.
Many of the kids refuse to wear traditional trousers and prefer to hear rappers like 50 Cent, Reggaeton and Cumbia. Some worry about these new tendencies. The local tribe federation runs its own radio station and broadcasts traditional music. Others use YouTube and Facebook to promote their culture. But they are few. So the World would barely know.