The Highland Potato with Its Own Song

Solanum ajanhuiri is a native Andean potato, grown at the highest elevations suitable for cultivation (around 13,000 feet) in Bolivia and Peru, where it can survive due to its frost and drought resistance.  There is a Bolivian folk song for the planting of this potato, given here from Huaman (1980), after translation from Aymara to Spanish to English:


Flower of the potato (Solanum ajanhuiri) variety'Jancko Ajawiri'
Jancko Ajawiri potato flower

I am the young Ajawiri
Daughter of the great chief
I laugh at everything
For I have flocks of llamas
And stores of chuño
For I am a woman of courage


Are you that maiden?
Like the potato blossom
Always beautiful
In the wind and the sun

Women like a flower bud
Smile, smile
Violet flower, smile
And do not cry later
When the frost kisses you

Solanum ajanhuiri tubers


What frost! What hail!
I am the Ajawiri flower
I laugh at the snow
Pirouetting in the wind
I am the young Ajawiri


Dance, dance, maidens
Spin, spin, sisters
We’ll give you a draught
In a golden cup
We’ll give you a draught
In a silver cup
Then we’ll turn to the right and
Turn to the left
Spin, spin, sisters

Flower of the potato (Solanum ajanhuiri) variety Laram Ajawiri
Laram Ajawiri potato flower


Come away, come away walking
To the village of Ajawiri


Sisters, let us go
Beautiful potato flowers


Singing, singing
Come away dancing
Spinning, spinning
Come away dancing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *