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)
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