Corega "The Whistle"

  • Brian Walker

For centuries, whistling was used by shepherds and farmers to communicate across the large ravines that separated them in La Gomera, the second-smallest of the 7 Canary Islands, in Spain. The silbo gomero (the Gomera whistle) is a phonological system that substitutes any spoken language. It was in danger of disappearing until 1999, when it began to be officially taught in the island’s schools in an effort to revitalise the tradition. In 2009 this system was declared by Unesco as ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ . This branded content documentary made for Corega demonstrates that expert linguists and communication professionals are warning that, as the island's whistlers grow older, their dentures prevent them from communicating normally. This becomes a problem when it comes to transmitting their legacy to the youngest members of society and, as a result; an important part of the Gomeran identity is threatened. For this reason, this brand which is dedicated to the oral care of the elderly, wanted to show its support to the islanders in the fight to safeguard the Silbo Gomero. They did this by ensuring that the prosthesis users on the island enjoy a correct fixation and can then confidently transfer their whistling knowledge and experience from generation to generation.