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Boletín del Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

On-line version ISSN 0718-6894


PEREZ DE ARCE ANTONCICH, José. Purple Combarbalite Flutes from Central and Semiarid Northern Chile. Bol. Mus. Chil. Arte Precolomb. [online]. 2014, vol.19, n.2, pp.29-54. ISSN 0718-6894.

Archeological flutes made of a particular purple combarbalita stone form a definite organological typology, but present problems with their cultural association. They have been found from Central Chile to the semiarid desert in the north, and from pre-Inka to Inka times. The typology of these flutes reveals several variations, among which the so-called "classic" version shows a sophisticated acoustic and formal design that is much more than merely utilitarian. The organological interpretation reveals a well developed acoustical dimension based on vernacular esthetics similar to those used today in the "bailes chinos" dance groups from the same region. The paper discusses the usefulness of ethnographic analogies for such interpretations. The context associated with some of these flutes allows us to offer certain social interpretations. Based on this information, we propose a model for the instrument's dispersion as part of a south Andean ideology.

Keywords : music; stone flutes; Aconcagua Culture; Diaguita Culture.

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