Fellow Since 1996
Musica De Maestros
This profile was prepared when Rolando Encinas was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1996.
The New Idea
Rolando Encinas recovers the vanishing traditional music and dance that have historically been at the heart of cultural life throughout the Andes. His organization, Musica de Maestros, which began in La Paz, is dedicated to recovering the collective memory of the Bolivian people that is embodied in their music. In public concerts, on television and the radio and through the press, Rolando and his fellow musicians tell stories about Bolivia's past, nature and rich diversity of folk tales.Rolando's work reflects his vision that music is ultimately about identity and that without a sense of intergenerational cultural identity one is unable to participate equally in a diverse society. Seventy-five percent of all Bolivians are members of indigenous and ethnic groups for whom discrimination is a daily experience. Within this context, Rolando has developed a method that rapidly and joyfully builds cultural pride and a sense of the contributions that all Bolivians have made to the history of their country.