Author Topic: Alexandro Querevalú  (Read 217 times)

Online Sparks

  • Posts: 870
Alexandro Querevalú
« on: November 29, 2019, 01:51:51 am »
An immensely popular performer with virtually millions of admirers. He is a Peruvian living in Poland, and he himself claims no Native ancestry, as far as I have been able to find out. He is often presented by others as an "Amerindian" (while he himself promotes (only?) his music as 'Amerindian'), e.g.:

https://www.times-advocate.com/articles/amerindian-musician-alexandro-querevalu-to-perform-live-in-escondido-california/

From his Facebook page:

My Story ALEXANDRO QUEREVALÚ·THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2018

Amerindian music performed with different native regalias and instruments (north natives american flutes, south natives american flutes).

Amerindian is a collective noun which includes Apache, Lakota, Quechua, Aymara, Mapuche, Bora, Aztec, Maya, Guarani, and more... We are all brothers.

"His live performances dressed in different Native American regalias are truly breathtaking."

— Isn't this cultural appropriation, using those regalia (plural, no -s needed) for purposes and in contexts where they were never intended to be used? In addition, after having watched a few of his numerous videos, I saw no attempt to explain the origin and cultural background of the regalia. Seems he is using them as showoff pieces and props. For all I know they aren't even 'genuine' or exact copies of anything, but created for the occasion, just to look exotic?

Alexandro was born in Lima, Peru, to a humble but hard·working family.  The oldest son of the family, he dreamed of helping his family financially.  With this in mind, he emigrated to Poland at the age of 18.

?He plays a wide variety of wind instruments, such as the Quena, Quenacho, Antara, Basto Zampona and Malta Zampona, among others Andean and Native American flutes.  He has a large repertoire, including The Last of the Mohicans, El Condor Pasa, and many other favourites.  His live performances dressed in different Native American regalias are truly breathtaking.  Alexandro lives in Poland. He was also a contestant on a Polish talent show.

My bolding. The same bio, with some additions and more paragraphs, appears here:
https://www.indigenousmusicawards.com/nominees/view,profile/2979

Online presence:
• Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AlexandroQuerevalu/
— 1,349,643 people like this — 1,451,453 people follow this
https://www.facebook.com/pg/AlexandroQuerevalu/about/
• Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/alexandroque [1,418 Followers]
• Facebook Fan Club:
https://www.facebook.com/Annas-Alexandro-Querevalus-US-Fan-Club-344584939350937/
• Facebook Group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/alexandro.querevalu/ [42,507 Members]
— Presently touring China: https://www.facebook.com/events/406040816735560/
https://www.ichongqing.info/2019/11/04/amerindian-concert-the-last-of-the-mohicans-alexandro-querevalu/

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexandroque
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexandro_querevalu/
• Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7KuinPMEf7UmGEPx2j7FTT
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0c9O37KYY38ax3RS8hC8AJ
• Several mentions here: https://nativeamericanmusicawards.com/news

Videos:
https://www.facebook.com/americanproudd/videos/1239853699513342/
• YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmzy78gqhtU1BwnwlDc3ucQ
See also: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8RU4SpAjKr51E4nV3u78-w
• Numerous photo collections on Pinterest, e.g.:
https://no.pinterest.com/cnelson97/alexandro-querevalu/
https://www.pinterest.ca/bretabujupi/alexandro-querevalu/
https://no.pinterest.com/yourangelface/the-incredible-alexandro-querevalu/

• Online shop: https://www.alexandro-shop.com (Photograph below from there)


Online Sparks

  • Posts: 870
Re: Alexandro Querevalú
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2019, 02:13:40 am »
I looked for similar criticism after voicing my own in my previous post.

This is about all I could find. I will quote the original post from a thread in this forum:

South American Natives
Home › Forums › Native American Flute › NAF General Discussion › South American Natives
This topic has 27 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 3 years, 6 months ago by terry b.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 28 total)


May 5, 2016 at 1:33 am #808990

Mono Loco
Participant
Hi, all.

I wasn’t sure where to post this, but because the NAF brought me to this issue, I guess here is a good starting point.

I am learning the popular music from “The Last of the Mohicans” … The Gale, I think … but I’ve seen it referred to as The Promentory, too. (?) I guess if I REALLY want to learn it, I should know what, exactly, I’m learning! Thanks to member “Zone1” sharing his rendition with us via YouTube, I’ve known the “melody” section for a while (same piece that flute maker Terry Green put on YouTube, too). Now, I am now learning the Intro section. I was figuring it out myself, but then found the tablature PDF shared by member Featherwind … I am enjoying adding this to my playlist, and intend to play both parts, in different keys, with the help of a looper.

ANYWAY … while researching different interpretations on-line (mostly YouTube) I came across a South American Native dressed as a North American Native … busking. He was playing the Gale on South American flutes and it felt “odd” to me. He is a very good musician, but it just felt strange. It wasn’t his song choice, as the Gael is not North American NDN anyway, but more of a Celtic-inspired piece, but his use of Regalia, complete with full-length headress, was, to me, inappropriate (but, what do I know, I’m just some Anglo anyway). He also played the Andean “El Condor Pasa” … which I will always know as Simon and Garfield’s “If I could” (I’d Rather be a Hammer than a Nail …). Were he dressed in Andean threads, I think I would have appreciated the overall presentation more. If he were dressed in lederhosen, on the other hand, I would have enjoyed it less … it would be incongrous and “weird” … not necessarily offensive, just odd.

And so, I am wondering if the negative aspects of “cultural appropriation” do not apply between North American and South American Natives … or, between Eastern and Western North American tribes, for that matter. I suspect there is a bond between all indigenous peoples, from their common suffering, that is stronger than that which non-natives can fully relate to. In this case, I suppose it could also very well be that the artist has lineage from both sides of the border, too. I noticed that on his FaceBook page, there is the following message: Stop nationalism, Stop racism! We are ONE! also STOP intolerance between amerindians! With such a message on his page, I would say he is, apparently, aware of concerns regarding cultural appropriation … but doesn’t … uhm …doesn’t want it to be an issue of focus.

While reading viewers’ comments on YouTube, I found it interesting that there were a few complaints regarding his North American attire … mostly from proud South Americans. Below are a few comments, from his videos of “The Gale” and “El Condor Pasa” (I translated them from Spanish, in some cases).

– That is a song from my Peru that you are playing, but why are you dressed as a North American Indian? Wouldn’t it be better, more appropriate, to wear clothing of the Andes? This is bothersome.

– I liked it a lot, but why are you dressed as a Native American if the song is Andean?
Just as well, I guess, as I doubt that the folks present know this small detail.

– The interpretation of the song is awesome, but there is something that bothers me (as Peruvian). Your outfit is not in accordance with the song. You are playing a Peruvian song (from the Andes), so you can not wear a North American Indian outfit. This creates a wrong image of relationship of the song with the origin of it.

Mostly people (who don’t know much about Peruvian Culture) will think that people from the Andes wear these kind of costume… while in the real life, they use Ponchos, Chullos, Ojotas and other beautiful things from my Incredible Country. So have a little respect and use the correct outfit when you play Peruvian Songs.
Thank you.

– Why is he wearing a chiefs bonnet (looks northern plains)? Has nothing at all to do with Andean huaynos. This guy is Disney

– He does not have respect for the Cherokee warrior attire. Nor does he know the significance of wearing a chief’s headress. He has no identity (right) using clothing that is not of his culture. This guy upsets me …using indigenous regalia like in a circus, to sell his music. (this one could have been directed to the artist directly, using the Ud (usted) form of the verb … and not the “he” form …hard to say, for sure).

Well, there were MANY more positive comments than negative ones, so I don’t want you to get the idea that everyone is bashing him. But, still, obviously there are folks who don’t like his presentation.

I guess that’s about it. I would not wear a headdress and face paint when playing my flutes at a PowWow. It would not feel right and I’m quite certain it would not be well received. However, if I were from Colombia or Ecuador … hmmm … would it be “more accepted” ? I wonder if R.C.Nakai would dress as an Inca Warrior when touring South America … a-la’ “When in Rome”? I suppose it could be a way in which to honor your host country, by trying to show an appreciation for their culture … but it could be misinterpreted, too. Politics confuse me … but at least our current election year is running smoothly ! :P

– Scott

Oh, the artist I’m talking about is Alexandro Querevalú – very strong lungs, like most Quena players … from that thin mountain air!

My boldings. Then there are two pages of more or less interesting comments and replies.