From the verb pireni, p’urhepecha voice that means to sing


The pirekua is a traditional song of the P’urhépecha indigenous communities of the State of Michoacán, performed by men and women. The diversity of their styles results from the mixture of African, European and Amerindian influences, and regional variations have been observed in 30 of the 165 existing P’urhépecha communities. The pirekua, which is generally sung with a slow rhythm, can also present non-vocal styles using different rhythms such as sones (3/8) and abajeños (6/8). The pirekua can be sung solo, in a duo or in a trio, and can also be accompanied by choirs, string orchestras and musical ensembles of string and wind instruments at the same time. The singers and interpreters of the pirekua, called pirériechas, are renowned for their creativity and their interpretations of old songs.

The lyrics of the songs, in which the use of symbols is frequently used, cover a wide range of topics: from historical events to religion, going through social and political ideas, love and courtships. The pirekua is an effective instrument of dialogue between the P’urhépecha families and communities that practice it, and contributes to the establishment and strengthening of ties between them. The pirériechas also fulfill a function of social mediators, by using songs to express feelings and communicate important events to the p’urhépecha communities. The pirekua has traditionally been transmitted orally, from generation to generation, and is not only a cultural expression that is still alive today, but also constitutes a distinctive sign of identity and a means of communication for more than one hundred thousand p’urhépechas.



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