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«Pirineos-Monte Perdido»


Music and dance

Music and dance were central to the lives of the people who lived in the Pyrenees-Monte Perdido World Heritage Site and formed an important part of their ceremonies, leisure time and get-togethers.

One of the traditional elements in this musical heritage is the use of the Aragonese skin bagpipes. Many residents of Sobrarbe still hold dear the memory of the bagpiper of Bestué, the last man to play this instrument in the district before its revival in very recent times.

Most of the folkdances that survive to this day in the area are performed at festivals and similar leisure events.
Even so, there are still elements that remind us of the ceremonial or religious nature of these dances in their early days. One such dance is the Chinchecle, which was danced on the eve of the pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Pineta.

Another dance with a clear symbolic significance is the Cascabillo of Buerba, in which all the dancers follow the mayor around the freixe (ash) that stands in the square.


Many other dances clearly originated on the other side of the Pyrenees, though they have since become part of the identity of the district thanks in part to the considerable efforts made in recent decades to compile dances and ensure a place for them in the modern era.


One interesting combination of music and dance that has survived along the Ara River is the palotiau, which is traditional to Torla and Broto. Every year during the festivities organised to mark the feast day of the village's patron saint, groups of four dancers, dressed in Torla in long cloaks, beat hazelnut staffs as they move about to the sound of tunes and rhythms such as the jota, waltz and the paso doble.