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The Loncomeo sounds in Patagonia

Loncomeo is a popular rhythm of Patagonia that has a dual origin: Tehuelche and Mapuche. And it went all the
El loncomeo es un ritmo popular de la Patagonia
13 November, 2019

The loncomeo is the most popular folk rhythm of the Patagonia. Its name comes from the Mapuche and translates as “ head.” In the dance, it is possible to see that “headbeat to rhythm”, which conveys the essence of this genre.

Its origins

Patagonian folk music incorporates the provinces of Neuquén, Río Black, Chubut, Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego . There, the Loncomeo is born as a rogative, a prayer with a double origin: Tehuelche-Mapuche.

Some historians attribute its origin to the Tehuelches. They indicate that it was they who promoted this genre and then transmitted it to the Mapuche people in the 16th century. Today it is known as the typical dance of the Tehuelche-Mapuche people, leaving aside the protagonism of its birth.

A genre made dance

The loncomeo is characterized by being a very expressive dance and exclusively masculine character. It is dance in a group of six men, the who wear half-naked and barefoot.

To the beat of the music, they simulate the movements of the choique or nandu with their heads. Five of the six dancers appear on stage with the head painted with feathers to represent the body of the animal. The other one. remaining takes the role of ñandú tail.

Music and the singing

It is said that, in the past, the indigenous peoples resorted to this dance as a spiritual ceremony, to celebrate new beginnings and stage closures.

Harmonies are usually performed with guitar and kultrun, atypical indigenous percussion instrument. This is characterized by its conical box shape and is percuted with a stick (stick).

Today the traditional loncomeo is the distinctive flag of Patagonian artists. Authors such as Marcelo Berbel and Milton Aguilar made theQuimey NeuquénLoncomeo an emblem of that province. They would never have imagined that, years later, the song would become world-famous with the series Breaking Bad.

Marcelo Berbel, anotherNeuquino author of Mapuche descendants, also left their “lunch box heritage”. From the voice of José Larralde, his song “Rogativa de loncomeo” was heard throughout our country.

From Comodoro Rivadavia, in Chubut, Rubén Patagonia also composed several works of this musical style. “When the Loncomeo is born” is one of the many songs of his authorship that led to national and international festivals.

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