The digital project saves the artistic universe of folklore teacher Raquel Barros on her centenary

Considered a teacher at the level of Violeta Parra, Margot Loyola and Gabriela Pizarro, Raquel Barros Aldunate (1919-2014) already has a digital platform that saves her immeasurable artistic heritage linked to folklore projection in Chile.

As a tribute to the centenary of her birth (which took place in 2019), in November the “Knowing Raquel Barros” project was presented to the community, which consists of a web page ( through which users will be able to access the written, sound, audiovisual and pedagogical universe of the Chilean researcher, compiler, teacher, essayist, director of ensembles and music.

Funded by FONDART RM Call 2020 with the collaboration of the Open School of the Municipality of Recoleta, the digital project was officially launched at the Raquel Barros Community Cultural Center of the aforementioned municipality and allows to know the exuberant work done by the creator in terms of compilation, research, creation and teaching of the traditional culture of Chile.

The site has three main themes: trajectory, folklore projection and audio library, through which it is possible to explore the different profiles of the enthusiast, accompanied by photographs and videos that reflect their importance for national folklore.

At first, Barros sang songs in French on Radio Agricoltura under the pseudonym Claudia Val, but a visit to Chile by the Spanish group Coros y Danzas de España in 1949 would lead her to the heart of her work for the rest of her life: the defense, conservation and enhancement of traditional Chilean culture.

After meeting this group, Barros was invited to Spain where the desire germinated to create a folkloric projection group in Chile, which did not exist until then, and which would include a collection of music and dances on the ground to bring them on stage . The idea thrived on his return to the country when he founded, in 1952, the Raquel Barros Chilean Folkloric Group, a group that maintains uninterrupted work to this day and which has the honor of being the oldest folkloric projection group in Chile .

From that moment on, all future paths of Raquel Barros would be inseparable from those of the group she founded. Following the information that appears in, the group celebrated its first ten years of life at the Municipal Theater of Santiago, in 1962, which served for the theatrical work that earned them respect in the world of popular music projection . “Fiesta maulina”, “Tertulia serenense”, “Cerámica de Talagante”, “La reina del Mercado” and “La zamacueca” were some of the productions directed by Barros, remembered for his numerous roles: vice principal and substitute dean of the Faculty of Arts and Music Sciences of the University of Chile and professor of Music Pedagogy career of that same house of studies; director of the National Folk Ballet; director of the Culture Area in various municipalities in Chile; founder of the San Bernardo Festival and many others.

In its investigative aspect, the site also deals with the entrance of the teacher Barros at the Institute of Musical Research of the University of Chile, in 1958, when she was already directing the group that bears her name. During this transit, she had to share with other scholars on the subject such as Eugenio Pereira Salas, Manuel Dannemann, Tomás Lefever and Gastón Soublette, and thus was tanning her matrix as a researcher and compiler. Together with them he managed to consolidate a vast archive with information and recordings of popular cultists, and together with Dannemann wrote several studies that appeared in articles and books: “La Ruta de La Virgen de Palo Colorado”, “The guitarrón in the Department of Puente Alto” , “Introduction to the study of melody” and “Popular poetry in Melipilla”, among others.

The “audio library” tab of the recently launched site includes, in turn, some audios from the radio program “Folklore and Identity”, conducted by Raquel for almost 30 years on Radio Usach, where she addressed various topics related to Chilean dances, singing poet, the cueca centrina, the tonada and many others.

“We are very happy with the result of this project, as it will allow us to get to know Raquel in different fields, such as research, study, projection, education, dissemination and her extensive work. We have been working on traditional culture for years and we hope that Raquel will finally have the place she deserves ”, concludes Florángel Oberg Bravo, director of the Chilean Folkloric Group Raquel Barros.

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