The art of being Diaguita

Chino Dances

Chino dance troupes are fraternities of musicians and dancers that participate in the popular religious festivities celebrated from the Copiapó to the Aconcagua valleys. Indigenous and mestizo miners, farmers, and fishermen express their faith by dancing to the sound of traditional flutes and drums. This sound, also made by the flutes found in archeological sites, has survived despite 500 years of domination as an expression of indigenous cultural resistance. The term chino means “servant” in the Quechua tongue, but it was used in Colonial times to refer disparagingly to the indigenous population. (Excerpt from the film, Andacollo by Nieves Yancovic and Jorge Di Lauro, 1959)