Tarka - Kena - Panpipes

Purchased in Peru, 1976

Tarkas (2, far left), kena, side-blown flute, panpipes

This beautifully hand carved tarka (larger) makes its home in the highland of the Andes Mountains of South America. The six-note flute is reminiscent of the recorder. It is of great importance in the accompaniment of all folk music of the Andes regions. It is used along with the Zampona and other flutes especially typical of Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. The tarkas come in different sizes and that will determine whether they will be soprano, alto, or bass flutes. But, mostly, they range in length from 12” to 26”. This one is 19 inches long. I bought this flute in Bolivia, in the Lake Titicaca area, when I visited there during Christmas of 1958. I had made the trip to Cuzco, Peru with Marcia Merrick, Pat Ballweg and Mary Lee Kemble. They returned to Lima and I went onto Puno to take a boat across the lake into Bolivia to La Paz. It was a fascinating experience.

AnThe other of the flutes from the Andes Mountains Highlands, is about 13” long. The pitch of this one is higher and blends well with the longer ones. I bought this one in Cuzco, Peru when I took, as a Tour Guide, a small group of friends from Torrejon Air Force Base Elementary School (close to Madrid, Spain where we were working and living.) My mother was also in the groups. Bought it in December 1976.

© Copyright 2014, Our Lady of the Lake University, 411 S.W. 24th St., San Antonio, TX 78207 | Tele: 210-434-6711