Object 3: Castanets — indigenous to Spain

May 27, 2021


These Castanets were bought at a market in Southern Spain in 2009 and was very popular for tourists. the instrument’s material is unspecified, but I would assume it is made from a traditional material hard wood like oak or rosewood. Like the didgeridoo, these castanets were bought out of admiration for the object instead of wanting to learn how to play them. Because going to Spain was a frequent occurrence, they were bought to feel

more culturally aware or appreciative but resulted in doing the opposite. The owner of the object holds very limited information of how to use the castanets compared to a professional flamenco dancer. This shows that there is a conflicting relationship between knowledge and culture. This is because having knowledge on the object’s worth or history does not mean that it is culturally valued.

It could be argued that castanets have evolved through time as an item which is seen by other countries as more of a cliché object with connotations to Spanish culture, rather than a traditional musical instrument used in flamenco dancing. It is seen as a stereotypical characteristic to Spain instead of an actual instrument which is still used in the modern day. This is why I believe that it is highly likely that these castanets were mass produced from a country other than Spain, making the object’s cultural significance of less value than the item itself and the profit it generates. Therefore, creating a blurred relationship between knowledge and culture.

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