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A Bardic Tale of Changing Seasons on South American Paths – Part 3


A Bardic Tale of Changing Seasons on South American Paths – Part 3
"About the Celtic League -International Branch Membership, The Poitín Celtic Group & the very first celtic recording in Argentina”
(image: Poitín's 1st Official Concert Poster of Lugnasadh 1987)
By the year 1986, as a member of the Celtic League -International Branch, began to struggle for the recognition of Galicia and Asturias as Nations Members of the Celtic League, who conceived the possesion of a ‘celtic language’ as ‘the principal’ element of our celtic nationality. We worked at our Association enlisting signatures in favour amongst our local centers, joined by the Celtic Leagues at Galicia and Asturias. We conceived ‘ language’ as a vehicle, one of the means for retelling lore from one generation to another, but not a sheer value to enable ourselves to label a celtic heritage!. Hadn´t people such as Irish, Scottish, Cornish, Manx, been obliged to learn english in order to emigrate or be employed by english people?. Didn’t welsh suffer the Welsh Not english penal laws even at school?. I accept english language as a commercial language between bilingual cultures, moreover as an international mean of communication -in fact I’m now getting contact with you through english and this doesn’t makes worthless our celtic experience. If we play the role of purists, we should label those so called ‘celtic bands’, less folk for their lyrics in english language.... the role of writing and speaking in celtic dialects (gaelic/britonic) won’t carry us onto Celtia... maybe it’s more important to know what feels like ‘being’ celt, now that some of us cannot ‘co-exist’ with his own celtic language.

In the latter half of 1985. I met Manuel Castro, a son of galician inmigrants who by those days had return to Argentina from a long residence at his parents native town. With him we agreed to establish an association of young people who should really care for their celtic heritage, and felt free to grow within it. Thus in January ‘86 we lined-up the Royal Celtic Association of Galician Pipers, whose goal was to revitalize and study our culture, have a folk group (afterwards called ‘Poitín’), and a Piping Band with pipes designed on our own, based in the traditional galician bagpipes but suitable for parade. By those days, there was only one pipe-designer alive, he was galician and from his crafty hands and woods made only two sets for us. Unluckily he died afterwards, but this galician bagpipe design was later adopted by the Royal Piping Band of Ourense in Galicia in the ‘90s.
Thus we changed our name in 1991 for Royal Galician Celtic Association, now open to any celt descendant with purposes of studying our common lore, held lectures, publish articles, and of course, promote folk music.
In 1987 we started at the Royal Celtic Association to line-up it’s folk band ‘Poitín’ (gaelic for the reknown irish ilegal whiskey), we did some shows live and for TV, a southern gig among welsh communities in Patagonia, and finally recorded a tape in 1989 , which actually is the first recording ever made in Argentina of celtic music, songs and poems, traditional and of our own in galician language. Due to changes of attitudes and feelings towards it’s music the band splited in 1990.
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