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The kaani, with tehuelche heart and feeling Patagonian

The kaani was born with the Tehuelches and revives with Giménez Agüero. He later expanded in the voice of Rubén Patagonia. We'll tell you what it's all about.


Considered as the fis ta tehuelche par excellence, the kaani is valued as an ancestral style of musicthat was born with the first settlers of the Patagonia.

Forgotten for years, it was recovered in 1950 by the musician Hugo Giménez Agüero . At that time, the artist was doing a work of collecting music from the native peoples. That's how he rediscovered this style that today sounds in Patagonia. From his hands, the kaani was reborn.

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The kaani made dance awarded various ceremonies of the Tehuelche people. He accompanied the casual welcome meetings, as well as as well as the celebration of guanaco hunting or the arrival of spring (arizkaiken).

In its beginnings, the dance was only danced in men's quartet. One of them (cage) assumes the role of guide for the rest of his teammates Tehuelches. The reason for the number of members had to do with beliefs linked to nature. For them, four members were optimal, as they represented the four seasons, the four cardinal points, among others.

As for the music, it was executed only by women. Percussion instruments such as shell drums of piche and guanaco leather, as well as wind instruments such as rambo, accompanied the dance. Sometimes they also used a rattle or maraca, which made with the craw of ñandú and stones.

A choreographic rhythm

Originally, his rhythmic style was used to run in 2x2. However, today, some musicians do it in 2x4. Characteristic for being syncopated, it is always accompanied by poetry. Some songs such as Ahonikenk, Chalten or Cacique Yatel, sought to recreate, both in Spanish and in the Tehuelche language, the expression of this southern rhythm.

In 1999, the dance of the kaani was recreated. It was the hand of Professor Horacio Heron and Marcelo Álvarez, who managed to rebuild it in its entirety. A year later, in 2000, it was presented for the first time at the Cosquín Festival in Córdoba.

As for the practice of dance, it is still keeps the habit of the quartermaster. Dancers wear casual clothes looking for turn the rhythm into something austere, which does not require large clothes to dance, easily reproducible.


Publication Date: 28/11/2019

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