“Quijongo”: rescue and conservation of the typical Guanacaste instrument

Have you ever heard a play performed by a quijongo (ttraditional instrument from Guanacaste)? Do you know what that musical instrument is like and what pieces shape it? Do you have any idea of ​​the origin of this particular instrument? If you answered “no” to one or more of these questions, we inform you that the Cinema Center will project the documentary “Quijongo”, which reviews the origin and cultural relevance of this peculiar instrument.

A two-meters rod – made out of Guazuma ulmifolia -, a rope placed from end to end, a vibrator, a calabash fruit, a handkerchief, a pushing element and a sound box are the elements that shape this musical instrument. Despite the fact that there only remains few performers, the quijongo still resonates in the province of Guanacaste.

The documentary “Quijongo”, is a production of the Costa Rican Center of Cinematographic Production and the Directorate of Culture, both instances of the Ministry of Culture and Youth. This audiovisual element, which is part of safeguarding actions, focuses on this musical instrument, in danger of disappearing. The quijongo played an important role in the emergence of traditional Guanacastean music, known as “parrandera”, which is mainly executed in livestock farms as a form of entertainment for its inhabitants.

“Safeguarding the Guanacastean quijongo, through the production of an audiovisual material, allows us to get to know the bearers of tradition that to date keep alive the cultural heritage from which research for this audiovisual production is born. Those same hands that keep the quijongo alive in Guanacaste have been the key element and reference for the elaboration of the didactic guide of teaching and constructing quijongos. This helps us to promote among the new generations a musical instrument that demands to be heard, recognized and that, with its notes, motivates us not to lose it” said Vera Vargas, cultural manager of the Guanacaste Office of Management, which is part of the Culture Directorate of the Ministry of Culture and Youth.

Projection of the documentary. The activity will take place on Thursday, December 5th, at 1:30 p.m., in the Gomez Miralles room of the Cinema Center. The admission is free. Reservations should be made to the following email: [email protected]

During this special presentation, we will be gifted with the presence of Eulalio Guadamuz, known as “Don Lalo”, neighbor of Bagaces, and Isidoro Guadamuz de la O, from Santa Cruz, who are prominent Guanacastean musicians recognized with the National Award of Traditional Folk Culture of 2014, granted by the Ministry of Culture and Youth, considering them “teachers in the construction, interpretation and promotion of Guanacastean quijongo”. The musicians will be accompanied by the anthropologist Adriana Méndez, who has done much research upon this instrument.

Ana Xóchitl Alarcón, director of the Cinema Center; Adriana Collado, head of the Department of Promotion of the Directorate of Culture and Vera Vargas, cultural manager of Guanacaste, DC will also be present during this event.

  • Thursday 5th December 2019
  • 1:30 p.m.
  • Room Gómez Miralles, Cinema Center

Photograph of Don Lalo. Photograph taken from Semanario Universidad

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