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Chiloé: music

The folk dance

Until recently Chilote dances were little known, some are unique to the island whist others are common to other parts of Chile.
On Chiloé you will hear the men signing solo or in-groups accompanied by the accordion, guitar or side drum. On religious occasions and for cuecas they use other, larger drums. Women may sing on saint?s days and in particular types of religious music. The favourite song and dance is the cueca, the principal characteristic of which is the absence of a regular verse form which limits the singer to continuos repetitions of short verses until four or five cycles have been completed.
The interpretation of songs is forceful and happy, singers often overpowering the instruments.
Chilote musicians are not only adept at singing, dancing and the interplay of words they are also fine guitarists and can produce more formal dances.


    HIMNO A CHILOÉ (Chiloé Hymn)
    Manuel Andrade
    Porfirio Díaz

    Chiloé my beloved land
    With endless fields and beaches
    The clouds proudly cross you
    Heralding a happy future

    Los robles gigantes y altivos
    de esta tierra chilota insular
    el vaivén por el viento se alcanzan
    en su eterno besar, y besar

    The giant oaks
    Of this island soil
    Sway in the wind,
    Caught by its eternal kisses

    Rich in plant and beast
    Your mountains, eternally green,
    Alongside a thousand rural leagues,
    I bless a hundred times, my lord

    You northern brothers admire you
    For your climate, sun and sky;
    For the heroic battle you gave
    When you were the last bastion of Spain

    Your sons work contentedly
    Managing plough or tiller
    Opening the fruitful furrow
    Singing a happy song


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