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Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question? Take a look below to see if you can find the answer to your question.

If not, contact us and we'll be happy to help!

What does the word "Putumayo" mean?

Putumayo is a river that begins in the South American country of Colombia and flows along the border of Ecuador and Peru until it reaches the Amazon in Brazil. Putumayo's founder, Dan Storper, was traveling through the region in 1974, and was so enamored with its beauty, he decided to name his new handicraft shop after it. The etymological origins of the word Putumayo in Quechua (indigenous Indian language) are as follows: Mayu (or Mayo) means "River" and Putu can mean either a gourd for drinking chicha, which is a homemade corn/maize liquor, or "nace" (birth) or "sale" (leaves). Therefore, the Quechuan origins of the Putumayo word could be understood to mean either a gourd river or "birth of the river." Another literal meaning of the word Putumayo is a heron (type of bird).

Are any Putumayo albums available digitally?

Yes! More than 40 of our albums are available for digital download on our website (see each product page for digital availability) and iTunes. Many of the songs on these albums are available for streaming on Apple Music and Spotify.

What if I purchase a CD or other item I don’t love?

Putumayo's products are protected by our Feel Good Guarantee. If you are not entirely satisfied with any purchase of a Putumayo CD or other item, you may return it to Putumayo for a full refund. Send the item, along with your receipt of purchase and your address to: Putumayo World Music Attn: Consumer Returns
122 Industrial Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70121

I’m a retailer and want to sell Putumayo music, books and/or greeting cards in my store. How do I do this?

Putumayo works with distributors and retailers around the world. If you’re in North America and would like to retail Putumayo products, send an email to, or click here for the sales manager for your area. International? Click here. You may also take a look at our catalogs and order forms to get started.

How does Putumayo decide what musical collections to release?

There are a number of factors that go into Putumayo's decisions regarding what compilations to release. We try to select themes that will have broad appeal and that cover an area of particular musical and cultural interest. We also try to balance out our annual release schedule with a diverse mix of titles that cover a wide range of musical genres. Putumayo World Music's goal is to introduce people to other cultures through melodic, upbeat music from around the world.

How does Putumayo decide what songs to include on their CDs?

Putumayo has a database of more than 65,000 songs we have collected over the years. Jacob Edgar, an ethnomusicologist and longtime Putumayo researcher, and Putumayo founder/CEO, Dan Storper, research music for each project. Dan chooses the songs and invites Putumayo staff to comment on them during listening sessions.

How do I submit a demo for consideration?

We are always interested in receiving music that fits the Putumayo aesthetic. Our preferred methods of receiving submissions are through Groover and SubmitHub. Or you can send an email to with streaming links to your music (no attachments or downloads, please). You can also send physical CDs to:
Putumayo World Music
Attn: A&R
413 Carpenter Rd
Charlotte, VT 05445