1st International Bagpipe Conference - Mano Panforreteiro - The Galician Bagpipe: A Seductive Nation Wed, 2013-03-27 20:51

(This recording is an extract of Mano Panforreteiro’s presentation: a Galician poem, read in Galician by Mano Panforreteiro and translated by Andy Letcher)

The Galician Bagpipe: A Seductive Nation

Mano Panforreteiro

In this paper, I examine the bagpipe as the quintaessential identity symbol of Galician society both in Galicia and in the Latin American and European Diaspora. I focus my analysis on the evolution of the social image of the bagpiper, particularly since the awakening of a national consciousness in the Nineteenth Century. The male soloist, ?o gaiteiro?, has long embodied elements of traditional hegemonic masculinities, especially heterosexual attraction and prowess, and as such, he became the hero of the Galician popular classes. The image of the ?gaiteiro? generated by Galician nationalism in the Nineteenth Century is therefore an interplay of notions of nation, class and gender. Since the fin de siecle the bagpiper was displaced from centre stage and, similarly to what happened in other European contexts, by the 1920s they were either subsumed within larger formations or replaced by bands which played other types of music. After decades of decadence due to the arrival of Modernity and aggravated by the Spanish Civil War and the subsequent dictatorship, the bagpipe was revived in the later half of the Twentieth Century. The traditional image of the bagpiper had to be updated, namely because of the incorporation of women into professional music as bagpipers. In sum, I will show how the contemporary Galician bagpiper soloist has became the epitomy of an attractive individuality regardless of their sex.