Luzmila Carpio

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Luzmila Carpio is a Bolivian singer, who has performed in Spanish and Quechua, and Bolivia's ambassador to France from 2006.

Early life[edit]

As a small child, she learned the daily songs of the Quechua and Aymara indigenous peoples that inhabit the mountains and valleys of Northern Potosí in Bolivia.

Career[edit]

In her early teens she moved to Oruro, and started expressing herself through her songs. Once she went to a radio station and sang the national anthem of Bolivia, the only song in Spanish that she knew. Later on she was selected as the lead singer by a musical band that participated in a contest in Cochabamba. The popular songs she sang in this occasion were designed to meet the demands of the vast popular segments of the population, mostly descendants of indigenous peoples but who already lived in the cities and spoke Spanish. Afterwards, "Siway Azucena", a melody composed by her inspired by the music of Northern Potosí, spread throughout the country, the first truly indigenous song to have widespread popular success.

Contrary to the prevalent trend of modernization, she started looking deeper into the cultural and musical ways of the Andes and singing in Quechua, rather than Spanish. The main ingredient was not to please the audiences that kept growing but rather to use her music as an expression of rebellion against the predominance of western ways of cultural progress over indigenous ones, as a way to show that this so far subordinated world also had a contribution to make, and as a way to build more harmonious relationships among the peoples of the world. In this quest, she authored and coauthored a number of songs for children: "Ima sarata munanki" ("What kind of corn do you want"), "Aylluman kutiripuna" ("Let us return to the community") and many others. These songs became popular with children in rural schools.

Then she went to Paris where her musical evolution continued.

On April 21, 2006, President Evo Morales appointed Luzmila Carpio as Bolivia's ambassador to France.

Honours[edit]

Luzmila Carpio has been awarded Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the French Republic (Grande Officier de l'Ordre National du Mérite), on June 14, 2011

External links[edit]