Ruphay is worldwide acclaimed for its inspiring interpretations of traditional music of pre-Hispanic and contemporary music of the Andes, particularly that of the Aymara and Quechua speaking people of Bolivia.
Ruphay was founded in La Paz, Bolivia in 1969 by aymara musicians lead by a talented and creative director, Mario P. Gutierrez. With six members (living variously in Bolivia, France, Germany) their goal is to spread awareness and stimulate appreciation and conservation of the native aymara music of the Bolivian Highlands.
They perform their evocative music on indigenous flutes, panpipes and drums, as well as stringed instruments introduced since the Spanish conquest.
The Aymara inhabit the high plateau region near Lake Titicaca, which borders both Peru and Bolivia. Despite contact with European cultures, the Aymara have maintained much of their own culture. Aymaran music is primarily instrumental. The Aymara were conquered and absorbed by the Inca Empire about the late 15th century. Much of the music of this culture is based around songs for panpipes ensembles tuned according to the pentatonic (five-tone) scale.