The Odyssey



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The Odyssey and Putumayo Present


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Hear Expresión perform

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Expresión came together during the mid-70s in Cuzco, Peru, the capital city of the ancient Incan empire. Their main goal was to rescue and develop the Native folk and indigenous music from the Andean region. The quintet continues to preserve and promote the last vestiges of Inca culture before they are swept away by the incursion of so-called Western Civilization.

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Ollantay, is based on Incan ceremonial forms called Yaravi and Huayno, and tells the story of General Ollantay who fell in love with the daughter of a powerful ruler. The track is from the band's second album Wasichakuy, which is a Quechua Indian word that means 'to build your own house,' as well as the circle of light that surrounds the sun or the moon. Peruvian anthropologist Percy Ardiles explains: "The building of a home was carried out by members of the community, and created a strong united energy. This energy, wasichakuy, was able to overcome any obstacle, and in the Incan soul it encouraged faith and radiated an aura of positive energy." Shared communal tasks were common in Inca life and were at the very center of their society. The tradition remains alive today: home buildings are still celebrated by the sharing of food and festivities.

Expresión's music shares in this communal spirit as a manifestation of their Incan soul.

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This information and world music sample are compliments of Putumayo World Music. Putumayo’s mission is to introduce people to other cultures through music, and towards this end they have released dozens of CDs and cassettes featuring some of the best music from around the world.

Click here or a list of Putumayo's offerings, to hear more samples, or to buy.

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