Tonolec – Canción de Cuna / Lullaby (via Tonolec)

Charo Bogarin (the singer in the video, front woman of the electronic band Tonolec) is a direct descendant of a Qom tribe’s leader who is considered a legend among his people. The Qom, natives of north Argentina, parts of Paraguay and Bolivia have been practically exterminated by colonization, government policies and a general attitude that is pervasive in South America regarding First Nations.

When she started Tonolec, Charo Bogarin wanted to bring the songs of her people back to a bigger audience. She went to Chaco and Formosa (two northern provinces of Argentina) to meet with the tribes people who told her that she would only be allowed to perform the songs if she learned their true meaning. She moved in with them for a year. She learned the spiritual traditions and the songs. At the end of her year, she was told she was now free to perform the songs. In this video, she sings with one of the Grandmothers (a Grandmother title for some native traditions does not denote a woman who has grandchildren, but a community elder who, through her wisdom, guides the younger generations). This song, “Lullaby” speaks to a child who refuses to sleep and tells the story of the child’s parents who went fishing and hunting.

I have a huge crush on Tonolec, their music and their embrace of a music that has never been perceived as “important” or “meaningful” in South America.

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