Playing a huilliche instrument.
 
 
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October 2001


Mapuche-huilliche Music from Maihue's Lake:
Rescuing A Sound Identity

Ethnomusicology is a branch of anthropology that searches for musical activities inside a determined social context. Thanks to this discipline, of which there are few experts in Chile, it was possible to study the relation between the huilliches and their music. The investigator Jaime Hernández compiled all his work in the CD "Maihue´s Lake mapuche-huilliche music".

By Paula Fiamma

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Chinko
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The study was made on the pre-Andean zone of the Maihue Lake, between August 2000 and February 2001 in the communities of Puerto Maihue and Repumeica, Tenth Region. Jaime Hernández had the support of different people. "Their roles were varied, but the main contributor was Guillermo Santibáñez Ñancumil, who introduced me to his perspective of what music meant for the huilliches and its sacred sense". On the other hand, Chile's Universidad Austral Museological Direction, represented by its director, archeologist Leonor Adán, gave an important and permanent sponsoring for this project. "Speaking with ethnomusicologist Claudio Mercado, from Chilean Pre-Columbian Art Museum, was a fundamental support", says Hernández.


Intangible value

Besides listening to the sound of the "chinko" (percussive instrument) in the middle of the forest, the huilliche voices, and the "trutruka" (indigenous wind instrument) melody, steps over leaves; one can also read how musical instruments were made and the context in which they were used. This book/record shows the different fabrication stages of six huilliche musical instruments: chinko, korneta, rali or kultrung, trompe, drum and trutruka. For each process there are ethnographic, photographic and sound registers. This way, local knowledge is systematized, and one discovers some characteristics about the way of understanding the world, reality and life itself from a huilliche perspective.


     
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