Meet Brayan and Dario Tascón.
Over the last few years, the Colombian cousins have released a handful of hip hop videos in their native language, Emberá.
Indigenous Rap Straight Out of ColombiaDario and Brayan rap in Emberá, an endangered language in Colombia and Panama.
Posted by AJ+ on Sunday, September 4, 2016
Brayan and Darío are using hip hop to preserve their native language. Though spoken by nearly 80,000 indigenous Colombians and Panamanians, Emberá is an endangered language, which means that in just a few generations, Emberá, along with their way of life, may cease to exist. By combining hip hop with their native language, the cousins hope, as Dario explains, “… to encourage children to learn it. We don’t want children to forget about our culture, our language.”
They’ve toured through South America to promote awareness of the struggles facing their culture. Using hip hop to spread the cousin’s message makes total sense.
Arguably the greatest strength of hip hop is its ability to give voice to those wanting to call out the injustices in society. In the late ’70s and ’80s, hip hop turned a mirror onto relevant issues like poverty, crime, and the flawed justice system. The cousins are no exception in how they handle their subject matter. Both Dario and Brayan draw lyrical inspiration from the ideals that are important to their culture as well as violence that currently surrounds their community — the indigenous people have found themselves caught between the conflicts of the FARC militia and the Colombian military. Brayan illustrates this point, by saying, “We are very conscious when it comes to writing our lyrics. We sing about the environment, Mother Earth, no to violence and discrimination.”
Their biggest hit, “Condor Pasa,” currently has over 12K views on YouTube.
The love of their culture is reflected in many aspects of their videos. Their lyrics, which are completely in Emberá, touch on subjects important to their people. They feature backgrounds and environments that are distinctly of their region. They wear elements of traditional attire. And they perform rituals and dances that are heavily influenced by their heritage. Thanks to the efforts of Dario and Brayan, they are preserving the language as well as the culture of the Emberá people.