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Dionisio Quilla

Artisan Organization: Dionisio Quilla

Country: Peru

The artistry of Dionisio Quilla has been featured in Natural Health magazine.

Dionisio Quilla was born in Peru's Puno province on October 3, 1942. He handcrafts most traditional Peruvian musical instruments, including percussion such as bombos, drums and tinyas,; string instruments such as charangos and wind instruments like quena and zampoña. Dionisio uses wood and bamboo canes, nylon strings and colorful cotton threads to imbue each instrument with a Cuzco flair.

When he was eight years old, the artisan begin to learn his craft from his father, and started making instruments just for fun. Gradually, his technique began to improve and he became more involved in the elaboration process. As a teenager, Dionisio accompanied his father to sell their instruments to stores and fairs around Cuzco, Ayacucho and Lima.

Quilla describes his work as a way of life, a special motivation, and an activity that has enabled him to provide for his family as well as to educate his six children. Now, four of his children are studying for a university degree and two are studying technical courses.

Thanks to my hard work and my great customers, my children are able to get a higher education, Dionisio says with pride. Three of them want to follow their own careers, while the other three want to help me.

I want you to know that with my musical instruments, you can play Andean and folkloric music, play the music from my land."