LIONS OR MICE? POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE STORIES IN APIAO, CHILOÉ, BETWEEN JOKES AND LIES
¿LEONES O RATONES?: LOS POSIBLES RELATOS ALTERNATIVOS EN APIAO, CHILOÉ, ENTRE BROMAS Y MENTIRAS
Giovanna Bacchiddu and Daniela Tapia Segovia
This work explores the place of humor and jokes in the daily life of the inhabitants of Apiao, an island located in the Chiloé Archipelago. Here, underlying the making of jokes is the practice of deliberately mixing real and fictitious facts, presented as exaggerations or fantasies, transforming ‘mice into lions,’ as a local expression graphically describes such practice. This combination, completely integrated into daily communication, aims at showing confidence and familiarity among its interactants. However, it also has negative consequences in the spreading of gossip and anonymous rumors about other inhabitants. Through the analysis of ethnographic data, we maintain that both jokes and gossip are two potentialities of the same practice of local communication: intentional mixing of truth and lies.