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Play a tune for the Inca Sun God

Make your own pan flute, and learn about the Inca Sun God and the festival of Inti Raymi.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Scissors
  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • Craft materials (for example, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, stickers)
  • Double sided sticky tape
  • Glue sticks
  • Paper drinking straws

Before you begin

  • Make sure you’ve risk assessed your meeting, and also have a COVID-19 safe risk assessment that’s been agreed by your line manager. You can check out more detailed guidance here

Safety checklist

Use the Safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity.  Additional coronavirus-related controls to think about may include: 

  • Set up a hand washing station that you can use throughout the session.
  • You’ll need enough equipment for everyone so people don’t have to share.
  • You could ask people to bring their own craft equipment to decorate their pan flutes.
  • Think about how you’ll hand equipment out – it won’t work for everyone to help themselves from one big pile.

Chat about Inti Raymi 

  1. The person leading the activity should ask everyone what they already know about the Inca people and their traditions – this might not be very much, but that's OK!
  2. The person leading the activity should read out some of the information about Inti Raymi to help set the scene.

Make your pan flute

  1. Everyone should collect eight straws.
  2. Everyone should use their ruler to measure the straws to the right length, mark with the pen, and then cut them.
  3. Everyone should draw two rectangles on card – they should be roughly 13cm long and 3cm wide, to fit over all of the straws. They should then use the scissors to cut these rectangles out.
  4. Everyone should put glue (or double sided sticky tape) onto one card rectangle.
  5. Leaving about 2cm (or enough space to hold), everyone should place their longest straw onto the sticky card. They should leave some straw poking out of the top, so they can blow across it.
  6. Everyone should leave a small gap, then place their second longest straw onto their sticky card. The top of the second straw should be in line with the top of the first straw, so they can blow across them both easily.
  7. One by one, everyone should add the straws in length order. They should always leave a small gap between them, and the tops of the straws should always line up. When the straws are all in position, there should be about 2cm of card left at the end (again, enough to hold).
  8. Everyone should put glue (or double sided sticky tape) on their other card rectangle.
  9. Everyone should stick their second rectangle on top of the line of straws, pinching it at each end to make two handles.
  10. Now the pan flutes are make, everyone can be creative, using pens and stickers to decorate their flutes. Remember that they’re going to be used to honour the Inca Sun God.
  11. Everyone should practice blowing across the top of their pan flute. Can they make a tune? Can they get into small, socially distanced groups and make a tune together? What happens if everyone plays their pan flutes at once?

Note measurements

  • Do (C) = 17.5 cm
  • Re (D) = 15.5 cm
  • Mi (E) = 13.5 cm
  • Fa (F) = 12.5 cm
  • So (G) = 11 cm
  • La (A) = 10 cm
  • Ti (B) = 9 cm
  • Do (C, an octave above) = 8.5 cm
An example pan flute

Reflection

This activity helped people to understand and talk about faiths, beliefs, and attitudes. Why do people celebrate Inti Raymi? What are the customs of Inti Raymi? How is it similar to any other celebrations or festivals people take part in? How is it different? What do people think the most important part is?

This activity also helped people to respect and trust people with different backgrounds. Is it easier for people to respect others when they know more about their backgrounds? What would it be like to visit Peru during Inti Raymi? Would people like to join in the celebration?

Safety

Scissors

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people

Glue and solvents

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions which could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.

Outdoor activities

You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Make it accessible

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.