The dark world and the music in the Andean myths

Helena Usandizaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This article explores Andean aquatic myths related to artistic creation (in the works of José María Arguedas, Gamaliel Churata and Félix Huamán Cabrera) in order to look for correspondences and/or differences in relation to Western musical myths. Andean myths talk about the music hidden in natural springs as a secret transmitted through a pact between man and nature, and through mythical creatures such as the sirinu or Serena or wamani, who are both frightening and fertile beings. Music, then, belongs to the underworld, and is found in this close relationship with the deities of darkness. As in Western myths, music is associated with mysterious things, but in the Andean ones the component of reciprocity, corporality and metamorphosis makes them different. © 2009 The Author.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-650
JournalBulletin of Hispanic Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


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