I will always love Pimentel, a long, wide beach with a very long boardwalk, once the busiest exporting port in Peru. A music video, El Ritmo de mi Corazón featuring Peruvian music legend Gian Marco and the famous local band Grupo 5 came out in April 2019, featuring Pimentel and the important archaeological site of Tucumé. Grupo 5 has been active since 1973 and their music is played day and night in northern Peru! Grupo 5 has added younger musicians and has toured globally, and still makes time for their local fans.
The music video production crew used drones to show their local peoples and the world some beautiful coastal areas and fascinating archaeological sites. This region has been inhabited by descendants of the brilliant Moche civilization for many, many centuries. In addition, a huge influx of inland peoples have been coming to settle the coast from the sierra y selva (mountain range and rainforest) in the last century, in particular.
The northwestern coastal region of Peru had less Incan influence than the mountainous region to the centre. In Lambayeque, Quechua is only spoken as a mother tongue in a few villages far from the coast, in the mountainous region. Most people on the coast speak Spanish as their mother tongue, as the Indigenous language (el mochica, muchik, yunga, or yunka) was purposefully destroyed through colonial policies through Spanish colonization. Spaniard Alfredo Torero and Peruvian priest Fernando de la Carrera Daza studied muchik between 1607 and 1644 and determined that its roots are mostly unique from Quechua and Aimara.
I never encountered a school in Chiclayo teaching muchik, but I did hear of hardworking adults and teachers trying to revive the language. Globalization and the national Peruvian curriculum mean that students study English, and at a few of the schools, French or Mandarin. In the Lambayeque region, most children who hear an Indigenous language at home hear Quechua, as they, their parents and/or grandparents emigrated from the mountains or rainforest. Revival of muchik is not easy and will be most likely by starting in the rural villages where wise and knowledgeable elders reside. But they are aging quickly and the parents of the families I worked alongside are passing away (not just due to COVID-19); just three days ago a mother in La Ladrillera lost her lovely mother and I sent my condolences via Facebook.
The lyrics and music video of “El Ritmo de mi Corazón” are a decent snapshot of rich blend of the mestizo peoples, cultures, languages (local slang), places, dances, rhythms and sounds of northern, coastal Peru. A few of the lyrics are not my favourite choices. Surprisingly, they only make reference to how delicious Peruvian food is at one point.
During much of the video, the emblematic regional dance Marinera Norteña, features prominently. It is a mestizo blend of local cultural traditions, Spanish dance, plus the sounds and fast footwork-dances of many African peoples brought by the Spaniards as slaves centuries ago (if they managed to survive brutal treatment and conditions).
Many descendants of slaves still live in the region, especially near Zaña.
Many of the culturally significant and locally adored algarrobo trees are also featured.
A bit of salsa is featured near the end (to make it a more globally appreciated song?…).
Enjoy the video here!
The video starts with Gian Marco on the Pimentel boardwalk, alongside seagulls
(you can also visualize the many pelicans that always hang around).
Then it takes you to a humble village home in the interior of the Lambayeque province,
and then all over, namely to Tucumé (the giant archaeological sites featured in the drone footage).
I dare you to try to listen to the first 30 seconds alone without tapping a foot or getting up to dance!
¡Buena suerte, y gracias por leer mi blog!