December 07, 2009

Quechua-language TV station

Quechua language TV hits the airwaves in Ecuador

By Rick KearnsTV MICC Channel 47 of Ecuador became the country’s first Quechua-language community television station in July; it’s operated by the Indigenous and Campesino Movement of Cotopaxi (MICC) and will air 60 percent of its programming in Quechua.

The new station is located in the city of Latacunga, in north central Ecuador in an Andean basin that has a large Quechua-speaking population and is near many other indigenous communities as well.

On July 17, TV MICC hit the airwaves for the first time and reached 400 communities in the provinces of Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Chimborazo and some parts of Pichincha and Pastaza in the east.

“We are interested in speaking about the earth and the water and about collective rights,” said MICC spokeswoman Maritza Salazar. “We want to make biographical documentaries to recover the historical memory of our men and women leaders. We want to speak about nature, and the struggles for water.”
Andean nations seek revival for ancient Inca tongue

By Walker SimonA shaman blows a bull's horn on festival day and pivots to clouds of burning incense in a purification ceremony, all shot on video.

The snapshot of native American life opens "Nukanchik Yuyay," a twice-daily newscast in Quechua, the language spoken by millions of people across the Andes and enjoying a revival as even presidents take up its cause.

The program's newscasters speak below a woolen tapestry of Cotopaxi, a glacier-capped volcano within sight of the station, Ecuador's channel 47. Besides the station's cameras, a wolf mask bares white fangs.

Based in Latacunga, 80 km (50 miles) south of Quito, Channel 47 says it is the world's first television station for Quechua speakers. On air since July, it features 30 percent Quechua programs and aims to go mostly monolingual as its audience increases.

"Our next project is Quechua cartoons ... to draw in children," says station manager Angel Tiban.

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