Huayno (huayño) is the name of dance and music popular in the Andean countries of South America. In the Quechua language which is widely spoken in the Andes it is known as wayñu. The huayno is originally from Serrania, Peru. It represents unique combination of traditional folk music and modern rhythms created in big cities.

The band performing this type of music includes quena (bamboo or wooden flute), siku (traditional Andean panpipe), charango (small string instrument similar to a guitar), lute, violin, guitar, mandolin, accordion, saxophone and harp. High pitched voice of the singer is also something associated with the huayno music.

Huayno (photo by Zorka Ostojic Espinoza)
Huayno (photo by Zorka Ostojic Espinoza)

There are several types of huayno music. One of them is the sikuri where the performer uses already mentioned siku panpipe. During the carnival festivities in Peruvian Ayacucho region special Carnaval Ayacuchano music is performed. Many of you heard the famous "El Cóndor Pasa" (The condor passes by) melody composed in 1913 by Daniel Alomía Robles (1871-1942) without realising that its second part is based on the huayno music.

The huayno dance starts when the man invites the woman to a dance by offering his right arm to her. In the Quechua language this act is called "wayñukuy". The male dancer has a second option. He can put his handkerchief on woman's shoulder. During dance there is lot of powerful feet stamping and moves back and forward.