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  • An Interview with Amador Ballumbrosio Mosquera*
  • Giancarla Di Laura

Amador Ballumbrosio Mosquera was born in El Carmen, Chincha, Ica, on November 26, 1936. Son of Isabel Mosquera and Basilio Ballumbrosio, he had eight siblings. Besides being a mason and a builder, Amador was a great musician, tap dancer, and fiddler who always took out the sound of the ground and the movement of the wind. He was very passionate and had a great amount of faith in the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. Amador lived all his life in the district of El Carmen, Chincha, which is 207 kilometers from Lima. He was among the first musicians that try to disseminate Afro-Peruvian art. Moreover, he was always a great host. His family and his wife would receive people from Lima and other parts of the world to stay with them and share their culture. Also, he was always a great person willing to help others. Married to Adelina Guadalupe de Ballumbrosio, they had fifteen children who all have contributed to representing and spreading Afro-Peruvian art and culture.

Besides being a family of artists, the Ballumbrosios are great cooks, and have managed to get into the Peruvian culinary art. Marcela, Celia, and Alcisia are the ones with more experience in the traditional Chinchana food. Carmen is also an excellent cook that lived in Spain for a couple of decades. They all follow the model of their mom, Adelina, since she is always in charge of the food. María, Maribel, and Lucy are the ones in charge of the dancing and the black rhythms, combining them to create beautiful choreographies. Some of the siblings, particularly Filomeno, Carmen, Miguel, and José, live in another country, such as the United States, Spain, and France. They all have regular jobs besides the music that they perform.

In 2001, Amador suffered a heart attack. He stopped public and musical life and decided to stay in Lima for rehabilitation. He lived in Chorrillos for five months and every day he wanted to go back to his birth town, El Carmen. Willing and wishing that either in July or December he would get back, he continuously showed devotion and love for the Virgin Mary. He always knew that around those dates, Peruvian Independence Day and Christmas Eve, his children and grand-children would come home to celebrate the festivities and continue the tradition of tap dancing. On June 8, 2009, Amador died in his home in El Carmen, Chincha.

Di Laura:

What is the origin of your nickname "Champita"? [End Page 448]

Ballumbrosio Mosquera:

Since I was a kid, I used to spend time in the fields, near nature. I used to enjoy the sounds of the field, the birds singing, and the noise of the air, the water running in the river. But for me, playing in the water was not a choice, because one day I almost drowned myself. I was helping my aunt in the cotton fields; we were collecting cotton. It was very hot and my cousin and I decided to get closer to the irrigation ditch. When we arrived, my cousin being funny, he threw me into the ditch and I did not know how to swim. I started to move my arms and feet. When my aunt arrived in the ditch, she got me by the neck and pulled me out. She was really scared because my dad Basilio, her brother, was going to yell at her. When we got to the house, my father told her: "I hope that nothing happens to your nephew." So, she decided to go to church and make a promise to the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and from that day, I assumed all the responsibility to praise the Virgin Mary all my life, and to serve her and love her.

Di Laura:

What kind of job did you use to work at in order to feed a family of sixteen?

Ballumbrosio Mosquera:

In comparison to my brothers who worked in the fields, I did not want to do that so I decided to become a mason. I built many houses and chalets in El Carmen. I built many homes and I always...


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pp. 448-665
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