The Meaning of TINKU

In ancient and current times, TINKU represents a prehispanic Andean ritual in which people from certain regions of South America (particularly in Bolivia) meet in a fierce celebration. These often times bloody meetings are generally organized in religious or sacred grounds. The persons are fighting for their ayllu or community. Winning the battle means gaining prestige; acquiring favors from the losing party; and overall rights to land.

TINKU is a word with several meanings. Its variants Tinkuñacama means " to fall or to enter into combat"; while Tinkuy signifies "the coming together of two different groups". TINKU is also a musical rhythms traditional to Bolivia that represents a marching movement. It is this type of music that was utilized when the two parties meet in combat. Currently, there are many "Tinku rituals" throughout South America held at different times of the year. However, due to local law enforcement, the ancient form of the Tinku battle is dying.

So, why "TINKU" for a band name? TINKU was chosen by its Founder & Director, Francisco Astudillo, because of its literary content: a coming together of two different segments of society. With this in mind, TINKU's goal is to project traditions, customs and rhythms of various Latin American countries by incorporating native instruments to introduce Latin, Folk and World music to people in the United States and beyond. Hence, since 1995, TINKU delights audiences with 100% live music from over 12 countries while highlighting over 19 musical rhythms.


Published on by Marcos Leon.