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Hear Jaramar perform
La Tortuga

(One-minute sample)

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Jaramar Sosa, (Artist pronounced: Hah-rah-mar; Song pronounced: Lah Tor-too-gah) has spent her musical career performing in ancient indigenous languages such as Zapotec and Quechua, not to mention Latin and other medieval tongues. "I have a lot of empathy for old music, as well as for indigenous languages. My idea, by presenting them with contemporary arrangements and electronic instruments, is to more closely represent what I am today and that which surrounds me. I want people to hear my music as something current, living as art should. The Zapotec language has a great sensuality. The sounds transmit marvelous sensations. When I sing it I hope people can appreciate its textures and colors."

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La Tortuga, which translates as "The Turtle," is a traditional song from the Mexican isthmus of Tehuantepec. It is sung in the Zapotec language and describes one of the main activities of the Huave people, an indigenous group from the Oaxaca region of Mexico: the harvesting of turtle eggs. Traditionally, the song is performed to accompany a dance in festivities such as weddings. In these cases, the dance is performed by a couple whose movements symbolize courtship and fertility. "Ay, Ay turtle," says the song, "how nice it is. Better still cooked in a hot mole (a typical Mexican dish prepared with a blend of unsweetened chocolate and hot peppers). Better still grilled in the oven. How good if I were to eat it today!" Jaramar, who is named for the Mexican Huichol goddess of the sea, is planning a full album with songs in the Purapecha language.

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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.

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