The Guitar Route of the Andes

Parking my rental bike on the facet of the street, I tentatively requested if I may go to the workshop. Whereas curious, I did not need to intrude: the Guitar Route is much from a touristy place.

However Uyaguari nodded and ushered me inside. “Come, come,” he stated, opening the doorways to the workshop. “Would you wish to see the guitars?”

Inside, the partitions had been lined with completed guitars, charangos (small, five-stringed devices liked by indigenous Andean musicians), ukuleles and cuatros (four-stringed guitars common in Venezuela). The tables had been coated in devices in varied states of end, sawdust, and cow bone fragments and vibrant ornaments used as adornments.

“Each guitar and charango are distinctive,” Uyaguari defined, holding up a small charango. “We use native cherry wooden, walnut and cedar bushes more often than not, however a number of the guitars are comprised of imported pine. Most of our walnut comes from proper right here, from our neighbours, and generally, we get issues like armadillo shells from the rainforest – it is good for making smaller devices, and folks love the bizarre end.”

Generations of guitar makers

As he confirmed me across the workshop, Uyaguari advised me he realized the artwork of guitar making from his father – who, in flip, realized from his. “As a baby, I keep in mind a number of the guitar masters had been 70, 80 years previous, they usually’d inform us they realized from their fathers, too. It is a custom handed down from father to son,” he stated. Though there are some girls guitar makers in San Bartolome, for essentially the most half, it’s the dominion of males.

“I started studying to make guitars after I was 13 years previous. Now, it is my commerce, and I am hoping to cross it right down to my sons. Three of them already make guitars and work along with me,” Uyaguari stated.

All of Uyaguari’s devices are made by hand. First, the wooden is distributed to be sawed. Subsequent, the luthier works with chisels, saws and sandpaper to craft the body and the neck of the guitar, adorning the sound gap with tiny wooden fragments colored by hand. A number of the ornaments are manufactured from bovine bones.

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