Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
This South American country stretches along the Pacific Coast of South America, measuring 2,650 miles from north to south, but is, on average, no more than 110 miles wide. There had been a small indigenous population there for at least 11,000 years, with the first Spanish explorer arriving in 1535. The town of Santiago, now the country's capital, was founded six years later. Initially, settlers established farms using the local population as slaves to farm them. Chile became independent in 1810. Nearly 90 percent of the population lives in cities or towns. The indigenous population used traditional musical instruments such as the zampona , the bomba , the charango , and the quena , and the “creóle” population was involved in organizing masked dancing ceremonies. Many of the early migrants from Spain were from the Basque region, and this influence was seen by the playing of pelota , although today ...