This is a tiny mandolin type instrument used in the highlands of the Andes. It has 10 strings… 5 sets of doubled strings. Sometimes the body of the instrument is the shell of the armadillo. The better instruments these days are made of wood. It really adds a shimmering effect and is an essential part of the music.
Add the quena… a bamboo or wood flute and the zamponia… several tuned bamboo tubes and you have a great Peruvian sound. There are lots of charango in this recording I did… “Andean Highlands”. It is really happy mountain music.
Here’s the link to listen to some examples: http://sonicsafarimusic.com/music/andeanhighlands/