Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Old Museum at the Seminary

Valparaiso area has only two natural history museums. The Natural History Museum at Valparaiso and the Museo Fonck at Viña del Mar. Both of them have as forebears two school museums started in the XIX century. One by the Sagrados Corazones school, dissapearing at the end of the century in Valpo, and now with some pieces of its collection located in their new premises in Viña, and the second, the Seminario San Rafael Museum still in the same old two story housing behind the current school at the end of Av. Argentina on the slope of the hill facing Santa Elena street.
The museum have the only natural history collections surviving two centuries of earthquakes and fires in the same place. It was inaugurated in 1884 as a gift by the Edwards family in a old house where the famous argentinean intelectual and politician Juan Bautista Alberdi lived as an exile some decades earlier. The original collections of stuffed animals from all the continents including big game from Africa are still like they were set in 1884. It has a large mineralogical collection (photo above) plus some archeological collection (photo below).
This museum is a very old fashion exhibition indeed a showcase of some kind of victorian style of showing natural history artifacts, minerals and animals at the end of the XIX century. This museum require curatorial work and soeme updating. older museum from the old world has done it why the Seminario San Rafael would not do it? Examples, there are many, the closer considering its affiliation might be the example given by the Museo geológico del Seminario de Barcelona. What to do to preserve and update this museum... the question is on....

Spring is blooming

Since almost a month already, the temperature are increasing and the days are getting longer marking without any doubts the season blooming... It is spring.... and flowers are all blooming on the hills around Valparaiso. One of these flowers is a golden flower known locally as dedal de oro... but better known everywhere else as californian poppy

Friday, September 05, 2008

Piping in Valpo

Spring is almost officially starting with paper kites (volantines) flying on the hills around Valpo and everybody else preparing to celebrate the chilean independence holidays within a fortnight... At the same time, the few bagpipers in town and surrounding areas are gathering to play music with their bagpipes in the outdoors. Two well organised pipebands are in town, both celebrating spanish folk bagpipe traditions. The Valparaiso asturian pipeband with their long single drone and closed chantered bagpipes (gaita asturiana) and the galician Remembranzas de Galicia pipeband with their traditional open chantered galician gaitas.... These bagpipes might look somewhat alike but they sound different because of their respective distinct reeds (palleta and pajuela) and chanters. So I am also playing galician style in the outdoors with a friend at the Baron docks (photo above). Tomorrow night many of these pipers will gather to celebrate the 4th Irlandés bar birthday party.... so if you hear them just relax they might be piping while celebrating with green beer and other stronger brews.

Immigrant's day celebration

In Chile and also in Valparaiso the local catholic church celebrates through its liturgy once a year the diversity provided by inmigrants from all over the world, this time represented by local communities from Italy, Jordan, Syria, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Spain, Greece, Germany, and the USA.
So this coming Sunday 7th at noon there will be a special service celebrating this diversity followed by folk dances by these communities. at plus a special presentation by Remembranzas de Galicia pipeband and dance group at the Corazón de Maria parish, Pocuro 834 with Av. Uruguay.