Aurelio Frez

Appears in: Poets

As with most oral poets, little is known about Frez. He was an "alferez" (from the Arabic "rider," standard bearer) a poet/shaman representing his cofradía, the religious confraternity of the "baile de chinos," the dance of the servants of the divinity. This ancient ritual, and the structure of the flute that produces the chino sound, can be traced back to the Paracas culture of 600 b.c.e in Peru, and to the Aconcagua culture of 900-1400 c.e. in Chile. The ritual procession of the chino dancers/flute players advances in two parallel lines, their alférez poet in the middle, singing only when the flutes fall silent. Today it is performed by peasants and fishermen Spanish for Christian divinities on sacred dates of the Christian calendar, in thanks to or to request concrete favors from the divine. The improvised verses, quatrains in ten-line stanzas, are a re-oralization of the Bible applied to their daily language and needs. The poem included here is a supplicaiton to the mother of life, the Virgin Mary, to end a drought.

PRINCIPAL WORK: As an oral poet, most of his works were not recorded.