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date: 18 October 2019


  • John M. Schechter


An end-blown, straight trumpet, 2·5 to 6 metres long, played by male Araucanians (Mapuche) of southern-central Chile and Neuquén, Argentina. In the early 18th century the instrument was known as thouthouca or trompette; it may date back to the early 17th century. In its modern construction a stem of coligüe or küla bamboo is dried, cut lengthwise, hollowed, re-dried, re-joined, and covered with fresh horse-gut. At the wider end a cow horn is attached with plant fibres or leather as a resonator. Metal instruments, made from gas- or water-pipes, are known among the Mapuche of Lanalhue, Chile. The trutruka is similar in construction to the Argentine Erke, but has a diagonal cut at the tip which serves as a mouthpiece, whereas the erke is side-blown or uses a single reed. It is played, together with other instruments, at the elüwún funeral rite for a shaman, in the ngillatún ceremony when Araucanians meet to supplicate their gods for protection against calamities and bad weather, and in other ceremonies. The ...

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Revista musical chilena