Tiger's Tayil: A Kite Experience Among Earth Ancestral Songs on a Mapuche Community

Professor Maria Elena GarcĂ­a Autino
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“I have a vision of the Songlines stretching across the continents and ages; that wherever men have trodden they have left a trail of song…!” – Bruce Chatwin 

There are times at the “Cordillera de los Andes,” especially in Aluminé, Neuquén, Argentina, when the wind is not particularly “kite friendly...” 

On a beautiful mountain morning during our last visit, the community children hoped to enjoy flying their own kite creations and some simple models we had brought from as far as China. Especially anticipated was the flight of a tiger kite, evoking for the Mapuche native tradition the strength and courage of the puma, which they call tiger. 

But the wind refused to blow smoothly, until some of those present recalled the tiger’s “tayil,” an ancient ancestral singing of theirs. Soon, a melody was climbing the gorges, a mixture of hum, singing, and scream. The tiger was then there with us, his marvelous power managed to evoke the wind and it flew at last.
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