Chile is a country in South America occupying a long coastal strip between the Andes mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It borders
Argentina to the east, Bolivia to the northeast and Peru to the north.
Northern Chile was an important center of culture in the
medieval and early modern Inca empire. Afterward, their culture
was dominated by the Spanish during the Colonial and early
Republican period. Other European influences, primarily English
and French, began in the 19th century and have continued
until today, as in other Western societies.
The national dance is the cueca. While its origins are not clearly defined, it is considered to have Spanish, African influences, amongst others. The most widespread version of its origins relates it with the zamacueca which arose in Peru as a variation of Spanish Fandango dancing with criollo and African influences. The dance is then thought to have passed to Chile and Argentina where its name was shortened and where it continued to evolve. The Chilean cueca spread to various regions, including Peru itself where it was called the chilena until the War of the Pacific, after which its name was changed to the marinera in that country.