diaspora, and amongst the slave populations, desperate to maintain their
musical heritages in the alien and fearsome New World.The ingenuity of cornered, desperate people is unbounded. In this story, the slaves and subsequently, freed men working under the same conditions, diverted fruit crates and fish boxes for use as box-drums - cajons. Equally ingenious were the cajitas, made from church collection boxes whose wooden lids were banged opened and slammed shut to produce a sharp, slapping beat. Centuries later, the cajon is central to Afro-Peruvian music.
The third, and most exotic and mysterious of these improvised percussion
instruments is the quijada, made from the lower jaw bone of a young mule
(burro), donkey or horse, and like those bone-flutes, also possessing a magic
which separates them from the wooden instruments, by involving parts of a
once-living animal. Today the Afro-Peruvian repertoire, and it’s songs are being reinterpreted and reinvented by musicians from all quarters, acoustic to salsa to electronic, and now included in the 21st century Afro-Peruvian adventure in music being conducted by RADIOKIJADA which perpetuates ancestral traditions and carries the primal voice of the quijada into the digital era. Suena la quijada.