Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Music and Dance

Among Chile’s indigenous peoples, music is very often associated with rituals. It is used in ceremonies to communicate with the gods and guardian spirits. Music, song and dance work together inseparably in acts to celebrate, give thanks to and petition the gods for the group’s welfare. Thus, there are songs to cure the sick, to bring the rain or stop it, songs to ensure a good harvest, to invoke the spirits and ancestors, to guide the dead, and so on. Music also plays an important social role as a medium through which group’s mythology and history are shared and remembered.