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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Legend Of The Jivaro - Yma Sumac

Legend Of The Jivaro
Yma Sumac
Capitol T770

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover.

This from the back cover: To unearth the Jivaro music – the stories their ancient songs tell, the musical instruments of their culture – Yma Sumac and her husband, Moises Vivanco, one of the foremost authorities on ancient music, travelled deep into the headhunters' native territory. There, her mastery of the Jivaro dialect (she was reared less than one hundred miles from their land) helped facilitate the research in that strange and obscure society.

Dang... that makes for a great story and creative platform for this terrific concept album! However I don't see Sumac, at this stage in her career, hovering over a cauldron of mystery meat to gather inspiration for a new album. Sumac and Vivanco divorced in 1957, remarried the same year and divorced again in 1965.  None-the-less, Billboard was convinced  that the couple did, indeed, make a trip into the back country even though they were unclear about her marriage status.

From Billboard - January 26, 1957: Miss Sumac takes off on a wild series of vocal calisthenics in which she portrays a series of authentic native melodies and dances of the Jivaro headhunters of South America. Miss Sumac and her husband, Moises Vivanco, obtained the basic material via a trip into the savage territory with a tape recorder. This was then arranged for the singer, choral group and drums. Notes explain in some detail what each of the selections signifies and for those who want to increase their own cultural knowledge this can prove an interesting addition to a collection.

Sejollo (Whip Dance)
Yawar (Blood Festival)
Shou Condor (Giant Condor)
Sauma (Magic)
Nina (Fire Arrow Dance)
Sansa (Victory Song)
Hampi (Medicine)
Sumac SorateƱa (Beautiful Jungle Girl)
Aullay (Lullaby)
Batanga-Hailli (Festival)
Wanka (The Seven Winds)


  1. Pure magic! I have this one as well!

  2. In fact this sumac album is certainly a fraud she had nothing to do with Jivaro people and she admit that she could'nt speak quetchua (Inca language) fluently only her husband moises could do so.
    But the cover is so evocative and prepare you for un exotic trip so I will gladly forgive them for luring us


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