Chonchi Traditions Museum. Chonchi, Chiloé..
One of the rooms main view.
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January 2004

Our past in Chiloé:

Chonchi Traditions Museum

14 miles south of Castro, one finds a museum that is rarely included in tourist circuits around the island of Chiloé. The Chonchi Traditions Museum was opened in 1996.

It took thirty years to make this dream become a reality, mainly because of the effort made by the Chonchi Progress and Development Center and its first president, late professor Hernán Ciro.

An old house was restored with great respect and fidelity to the wood building systems. It was then furnished with original elements that used to be placed at local houses during the 19th Century. Architectural wise, the Museum can be defined as part of the Chiloé neo-classical period (1860-1920). The house belonged to the family of Clemente Andrade and Veronica Alvarez, and was bought with the help of the State Fund for the Arts (Fondart), and restored with money collected from the community and the City office.

Books, documents, articles and plain oral tales helped to visualize the original disposition of furniture and other diverse elements. All the rooms are arranged just like they used to be 150 years ago.

—Sewing room: in here and by the heat, women used to stay most of the time, working and drinking "mate".

—Dining room: family and friends gathered here to celebrate.

—Living room: the house´s main room. In here, the most important visitors were welcome and the best furniture could be found, specially musical instruments. It was the room used for social meetings and, if necessary, the wake of the dead.

Bedroom: all beds were queen-size and made out of iron. One could also find a chest and a "prie-dieu" for daily players.

—Fireplace ('fogón'): used mainly for cooking, but also for house work such as the making of yokes for animals. Poorer families would sometimes live here.

Address: Calle Centenario 116; Chonchi, Chiloé.
Phone: (56-65) 671 260
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 9 am - 1 pm and 3 pm to 6.30 pm.

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