History of the tunas
The tuna tradition goes back hundreds of years, when the first universities were founded in Spain. Here young students who had to find creative ways to cover their expenses, began to group together and play traditional music for money. This phenomenon spread throughout the universities of Spain, and later was swept to neighbouring Portugal. In the last century, many other Spanish speaking countries in Latin America have seen the comeback of this Middle Ages student tradition, ranging from Universities in Chile, Peru, Columbia all the way up to Mexico.
Originally a Castilian custom, the Tunas are nowadays a big part of the social life of universities in Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries. Plus a few Tuna groups outside of Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries, just like our group.
The tunas play traditional Spanish, Latin American or Portuguese songs, they generally form through different faculties (university departments) with each one distinguished by a distinct colour sash that members wear over their costume. Nowadays these tunas provide cheerfulness and entertainment to parties, serenades, festivals and in the streets. They wear historical costumes with typical elements and play a variety of instruments whilst singing.
To be a tuno is a way of life. Even today tunas travel all over the world, visiting cities and other tunas, they do so with hardly any money, trying to earn their living while travelling. So, if you see this joyful band of youth passing by, carrying on 700 years of history, give a minute of your time and join them in their songs. Let their enthusiasm make for you happy memories, color, and overall passion! ¡Viva la tuna!
Our group was founded in 2018 by a group of students from Maastricht University. They came across la Tuna Universitaria de Maastricht, which has been around for over 30 years, and fell in love with their music and cheerfulness. They started joining their rehearsals until the idea of forming their own Tuna Femenina was too strong to resist. La Tuna de Maastricht became our padrinos and then our andares (first steps) started.
Our Tuna has been incredibly international from the very start, from Spanish and Portuguese members, to, of course Dutch ones, but also Belgians, Hungarians, Venezuelans, Uruguayans, and so many more.
We come together to play music, learn new instruments, dance our hearts out with the panderetas and capas, and enjoy each other’s company.
We would like to make a special mention to la Tuna Femenina de Maastricht that existed previously around the 2000s. They are and always will be honorary members of this Tuna.