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Indigenous art and culture collaborations in Chile

BHP’s 20-year alliance with the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art has helped Chileans reconnect with their vast Indigenous heritage.

This association has delivered over 20 exhibitions, research and other cultural projects in Santiago, Antofagasta and San Pedro de Atacama, each developed with local Indigenous communities.

Examples include:

  • Taira Atacameño community participation in the exhibition “Faces of the Far North”, presented in Antofagasta and San Pedro de Atacama in 2017 and 2016, which included testimonies from the Lickan Antay community.

  • Cultural studies of a section of the Inca Trail in the south of the Atacama Desert.

  • The development of a tourist brochure for the Kezala rock art circuit in Talabre, San Pedro of Atacama, prepared together with the Atacameño community.

BHP participates in social and cultural events such as the annual ceremony led by the Indigenous Quechua community of Quipisca at our Cerro Colorado operations and supports cultural initiatives such as the Atacameña Music project, which promotes and enhances the traditional music and dances of the Atacamenian culture.

The Atacameña Music project uses classical and Andean instruments and runs summer camps held in Toconao (in Chile’s northern Antofagasta Region) by the art school, Escuela Artística Huntantur de Toconao, and the youth orchestra, Orquesta infantil y juvenil de San Pedro de Atacama.

In January 2019, the project held its second summer music camp, where camp participants collectively created the music piece “Suray, Fragments of a Community”, which included the traditional Atacamenian dance: “La Paloma”. They presented it at the Neighbour’s House of Toconao.

The Atacameña Music project is supported by the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, the Foundation of Culture and Tourism of San Pedro de Atacama, the Municipality of San Pedro de Atacama and the Archaeological Museum R.P. Gustavo Le Paige, as well as by BHP.