The folklore of death: ‘Cantos de angeles’ and cultural syncretism on the island of Chiloé

Sandra Garrido, Waldo Garrido

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Chiloé has become well-known as a cultural tourism destination since its registration as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2000 on account of its distinctive wooden architecture. Similarly, the island's tradition of song, dance and instrumental performance has come to play a large role in summer season tourism in the region. But while these two aspects of the island's 'patrimonio cultural' (cultural heritage) have established a high visibility in the island's branding as a tourism destination, a number of equally distinct cultural traditions continue - albeit 'below the radar' of tourism marketing. Amongst these are a number of elaborate syncreticisms that combine European colonial and indigenous traditions in highly idiosyncratic ways. A prime example is the ‘cantos de angeles’, a particular song form used for the funerals of children under the age of five. While this ritual existed in other parts of Chile, the isolation of Chiloé from the mainland has preserved it in distinct form. This particular ritual will be discussed with reference to the folklore surrounding death that exists on Chiloé.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th International Small Islands Conference
Subtitle of host publicationISIC 7 - 2011
EditorsKatelyn Barney
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherSICRI, the Small Islands Cultures Research Initiative
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventInternational Small Islands Cultures Conference (7th : 2011) - Airlie Beach, Whitsundays, Queensland
Duration: 12 Jun 201115 Jun 2011


ConferenceInternational Small Islands Cultures Conference (7th : 2011)
CityAirlie Beach, Whitsundays, Queensland


  • funeral Music
  • chiloe
  • grief
  • Small Island Cultures


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