From Box to Cajón: Peta's Heritage

Peta Robles's heritage and the cajón
Currently available as part of an event.

Peta Robles is a master percussionist from Peru who comes from a family, and a community, that values percussion. Many of the rhythms you hear in Afro-Peruvian music today come from the time of slavery and were used to communicate between Africans who had managed to escape (called "cimarrones") and people still enslaved on the plantations.

The messages said things like that a person had successfully escaped, or that a community ("palenque") of cimarrones had received the food smuggled to them by those remaining caught in the plantations.

Peta Robles, niece of famous percussionist Lalo Izquierdo, is the first Afro-Peruvian woman to win Peru's national contest for best female player of the cajón. Traditionally, women didn't play the cajón because it was felt undignified for them to be sitting on it in their traditional long skirts, but in the modern era when women wear long pants, well, someone decided it was high time to include women.

This half-hour documentary, still in production, is part of our series-in-progress, Speaking of Rhythm,. We anticipate completing it by the end of 2024, after which, we will take it on the festival circuit for another few months. In the meantime, we can present it to you as part of an event. The host is filmmaker Eve A. Ma.

Palomino Productions
P.O. Box 8565
Berkeley, CA., 94707, USA
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