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Handcrafted of smooth bamboo, the quena flute is a legacy of the Inca. Today it is an indispensable instrument in traditional Peruvian songs. Benito Tito perforates holes of different widths to ensure a professional sound. An owl adorns the flute and its fabric case emulates pre-Hispanic textiles.
Now in his seventies, Benito has had cataract surgery but now faces glaucoma. Work is more difficult for him but he refuses to give up. The income from the sales of his musical instruments help him care for his wife who can no longer care for herself, pay for his grandchildren’s education and maintain his dignity. He is grateful that the orders for his work have increased since joining Novica.
For generations, the Tito family legacy has helped to preserve the musical traditions of the Peruvian Andes. The art of crafting musical instruments to produce the haunting music indigenous to this region has been passed from father to son. Benito is now an elder master. He embraces every opportunity to teach younger artisans the vast array of skills required to handcraft a musical instrument and proudly incorporates local materials, such as jungle bamboo, into his designs.
Whenever Benito has a large order or many orders to fill at the same time, he hires other craftspeople to help him. He especially likes to give work to those who are from his hometown of Puno - he likes to be able to share the income this work brings with others in his community.
Now in his seventies, Benito is entirely dependent upon Novica sales. The income derived from the sales of his musical instruments support him, his wife and his grandchildren. He also gives work to other artisans when he needs help to meet the demand for his work.
As Benito's sales have grown through Novica, he has been able to hire other artisans to help meet the demand for his handcrafted instruments. He has trained many of them in this traditional craft and prides himself on preserving this traditional Peruvian art form.
Now in his seventies, Benito lives with one of his children and their children. Their parents provide for their children's food and clothing and Benito proudly pays for his grandchildren's education, even though he often struggles to do so.
This artist is an elder master and continues to actively practice their craft.
If I have one thing I love collecting, it's flutes. And this quena is by far my favorite. The instrument itself is even more gorgeous than the pictures gives it credit for, the carving is almost spiritual, and the fabric case is mesmerizing. I know it sounds like hyperbole but I cannot express how impressed I am by the quality. And the sound? Professional, warm, and deep. It actually feeeeels good to play it. Te juro que esta hermosa, sin mentira.
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