421.221.12 Open flutes with internal duct, with fingerholes

Saripalka pinkillu, duct flute.

This saripalka was collected in 1987 by Henry Stobart during a research visit to the Potosi region of Southern Bolivia. Stobart suggests two possible derivations for the instrument's name, the first that it is named after a dance, the second that it is named after the village of Saripalka, near Toropalka in the Potosi region. The history of the village lends weight to this argument, as it was traditionally the place where the melodies for carnival were collected, with representatives from other villages visiting annually to learn the melodies for the coming celebrations. The saripalka is played with the malichu (M24f-1987 is an example of this instrument), both of which are duct flutes of similar design. The malichu is half the length of the saripalka and plays an octave higher, always playing the same line in parallel octaves. The saripalka and malichu are only played during the rainy season, between Christmas and carnival, and the instruments themselves must be wetted before use in order to function at their best.

Collection Information

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