Andean Designs Mapuche investigación 2012 2013


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Andean Designs Mapuche Research 2012-2013 is collection of extensive research and collated data about one of the oldest indigenous pre-colombian cultures of Andes Mountains. Please visit, if you are interested to know more about our work!

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Andean Designs Mapuche investigación 2012 2013

  1. 1. Andean Designs’ Mapuche Culture Research 2012-2013 www.andean-­‐   info@andean-­‐  
  2. 2. Mapuche (mapu = earth, che = people) The mapuche people (mapu = earth, che = people) are one of the many American native groups who have retained more strongly their beliefs, customs and identity. Origins The Mapuche remote origins comes from the large Mongolian ethnic group which arrived in America 1000 BC. Later on they would have branched off from the Andean subgroup. Three hypothesis have been formulated about the Mapuche origin: 1. Menghin (1909) proposes an Amazonian origin. Similarities in culture and language with the Amazon peoples suggest a link with a tropical subgroup, which later settled in the Andes. 2. Latchman (1924) proposes that the Mapuche people crossed The Andean mountains from the other side.. As a foreign ethnic group they settled in the zone of the Bio-Bio and Toltén rivers between the Pikunche and Williche people. Due to archaeological findings, especially ceramics, this theory has been discarded: the Mapuche ceramic is a clearly influenced by the Atacameño and Diaguita people, what is confirmed by the Tirúa and Pitren ceramic findings. 3. Guevara (1925) bases on a migration from north to south. There is also archaeological and ethnographical evidence of similarity with the Tiwanaku culture.
  3. 3. History in short: Pre-Hispanic times The Mapuche successfully resisted many attempts by the Inca Empire to subjugate them, despite their lack of state organization. They fought against the Sapa Inca, Tupac Yupanqui, and his army. The result of the bloody three-day confrontation known as the Battle of the Maule was that the Inca conquest of the territories of Chile ended at the Maule river. They fell back to the north behind the Rapel and Cachapoal Rivers, where they established a fortified border guarded by fortresses such as the Pucará de La Compañía and the Pucará del Cerro La Muralla. Cacique lloncon A cacique's wife Warlike People Before the war against the Spaniards, the Mapuches engaged in tribal warfare, using weapons such as bow and arrows, spears, slingshots, stone balls and mace made of wood or stone, known as macanas. The War Covenant among the different local groups was ratified in a ceremony where a black llama was sacrificed, and its blood drained. The meat was pierced with spears and arrows and it was then eaten to celebrate the alliance. The winning party either kept their enemies as slaves, or killed them. Defeated chiefs were decapitated, hanging their heads on spears. Victory was celebrated in an open field around a Canelo tree. Around this sacred tree, men and women danced covered with animal skins. They danced, ate and drank large amounts of maqui or corn beer. Mapuche old flag Mapuche current flag
  4. 4. War of Arauco and occupation of the Araucanía One of the main geographical boundaries was the BíoBío River, which the Mapuche used as a natural barrier to Spanish and Chilean incursion. The 300 years were not uniformly a period of hostility, and there was often substantial trade and interchange between Mapuche and Spaniards or Chileans. The long Mapuche resistance has become primarily known as the War of Arauco. After Chile's independence from Spain, the Mapuche coexisted and traded with their neighbors, who prudently remained north of the Bío-Bío River, although clashes frequently occurred. War of Arauco In the post-conquest period, Chile interned a significant percentage of the Mapuche, and destroyed the Mapuche herding, agricultural and trading economies, while also looting Mapuche property (real and personal - including a large amount of silver jewelry to replenish the Chilean national coffers). The government created a system of reserves called reducciones along lines similar to North American reservation systems. Subsequent generations of Mapuche live in extreme poverty as a result of having been conquered and having lost their traditional lands.  occupation of the Araucanía
  5. 5. Recent History In recent years, the Chilean government has tried to redress some of the inequities of the past. The Parliament passed, in 1993, Law n° 19 253 (Indigenous Law, or Ley indígena) which officially recognized the Mapuche people, and seven other ethnic minorities, as well as the Mapudungun language and culture. Mapundungun, which use was prohibited before, is now included in the curriculum of elementary schools around Temuco. Government In 1818, Chile gained its independence from Spain, and in 1866 the government placed the Mapuche on reservations. The Indians revolted against this oppression several times, and the Chilean government finally succeeded in bringing them to sign a peace treaty. Although relations between the two groups are somewhat better today, the Mapuche still remain in the lower classes of society. The existing Mapuche political organizations have no legal authority over the people; they remain subject to the national government.
  6. 6. Mapuche house  The traditional house, ruka, has a single door, open towards the east, an orientation which expresses the cosmological preference of the Mapuche for Puelmapu (Land of the East), where the deities reside. The ruka has no windows. Inside, the sleeping place is by the internal wall while in the center lies the kutral, or open hearth. Soot blackens the wall and smoke floods the Mapuche home coming out through the güllonruka, two openings on each side of the gables. In the interior there is space to store food and there are many domestic artifacts, which hang from the ceiling and wall. The most characteristic artifacts are: – The wenku (bench), a small settle carved from a solid block of wood. - The witral, or loom, is placed near the ruka entry. During the bad weather the witral is used indoors, and outdoors with good weather. The smoke and the grease from cooking turn the ruka water proof, sealing the straw-made roof and, even, forming stalactites of soot. The fire is permanently lit in the center. The construction of the ruka was celebrated with the rukatun, a house building ritual with dancers wearing wooden masks known as kollón.
  7. 7. Livelihood: Mapuche means ‘people of the land,’ and many of the people are Recent History farmers. They raise cash crops such as wheat, barley, potatoes, sugar beets and oats. Coastal Mapuche are dedicated to fishing. Many women work as maids in the cities. Young people continue to migrate to the cities for better work opportunities, because there is less and less available land for them in the rural reservations. For the most part, the Mapuche depend on their traditional livelihoods based on herding cattle, sheep, and vicunã (a relative of the llama). They also collect pine nuts from the abundant monkey puzzle trees to sell locally. However, due to the lack of other income and employment opportunities, most Mapuche live in poverty. The traditional subsistence livelihood puts a growing pressure on the fragile ecosystem. Ecotourism is only in its infancy, but to help preserve the environment and provide income alternatives for the native communities. Mapuche now manage the campgrounds, provide mountain guides, and offer excursions on horseback. These activities provide some of the few income sources. The Mapuche also preserve their extensive cultural traditions and indigenous handicrafts, among them hand-woven textiles, musical instruments, woodcarvings, and traditional food items. They are for sale at the various communities and at cooperatives and crafts markets in nearby towns. Mapuche were able to organize themselves to  create a network of forts complex defensive buildings Metal working (Iron,Copper) Horseback riding the cultivation of wheat and sheep
  8. 8. Mapuche Wheat Through the 19th century, the Mapuche’s harvest was by hand: They cut the wheat with a sickle, tied the sheaves and tossed them with pitch forks into ox carts that took them to the threshing floor. And threshing was also done manually.   Juan Amasa, a Mapuche of the village of Collipulli explained: After the harvest they would bring together 10 or 20 Indians, men and women, young and old to thresh the wheat with their feet.   The chief himself does not work, but is in charge of directing the threshing as a “corporal.”  Depending on the size of the pile of wheat the Indians go around it in lines of two to four people holding hands with their bodies inclined forward in a particular threshing step, executing two food movements with each step.   That is, the foot is put forward then drawn back, sliding the sole of his foot over the wheat, and then there is another step with the same foot, continuing the same sliding motion with the other foot and moving forward.  To the rhythm of the threshing they sing to entertain themselves in this monotonous work. If the amount of wheat was greater, horses were used for the threshing, a Spanish practice adopted by the Mapuche. After the straw was brushed aside, the wheat remained on the ground. To separate the wheat from the chaff, it was winnowed—thrown into the air where the lighter chaff blows away and the wheat falls to the ground or the winnowing tray.
  9. 9. Toasted flour: mürke (harina tostada) Toasted flour was one of the most important Mapuche wheat products, adapted from the aboriginal toasted corn meal— an indigenous American Indian food from New England to Chile.  North America settlers called it “parched corn”[7], in Mesoamerica it is known as pinole, in NW Argentina it is ñaco, and in Chile mürke.  Toasted wheat was, and is, eaten as ulpo, mixed with cold or hot water (chercan) or was boiled in water to make a porridge. It continues to be popular and is available in supermarkets. Lightly toasted wheat that is coarsely ground is tukun, locro in Chilean Spanish.  It is added to soups and stews. Traditional Mapuche milling stone Peeled wheat: kako cachilla (mote de trigo) Mote is eaten as a boiled grain, like rice, and in soups and stews with other products: potatoes, beans, peas.   It is also the basis for catuto or mültrun, a bread like mixture of ground mote, lard or oil, and salt which is formed into oblong rolls, and eaten as is, toasted on the coals, as below, or sautéed in a little grease[13]. (It is also made of boiled wheat that has not been peeled.) Catutos on the coals,
  10. 10. Wheat bread Bread was not an early addition to the Mapuche diet. empanadas, tortillas and “fried buñuelos and rosquillas and sopaipillas of eggs,” Spanish pastries made of wheat flour, but these do not seem to have been common in Mapuche kitchens until the late 19th and 20th centuries when they could take their wheat to mills for grinding into a fine flour. Since that time, however, bread has been a major factor in Mapuche life.   Making bread continues to be the principal activity of the Mapuche woman.  It occupies a good part of her day.  There are several customs.  Some women prefer to leave the dough over night, ready to make bread in the morning, others like to make use of the embers of the kitchen hearth and have the bread ready.   This is the “ash bread” [tortilla de rescoldo], cooked in the hot ashes of the hearth.   Sometimes it is left overnight and the next day, on getting up, the bread is ready and still hot.   Other women rise, knead and prepare the bread for breakfast. Sopapilla sümita, the boiled bread Kofke
  11. 11. Mapuche Merken Merken since centuries, has been the Chileangourmet copper spice per excellence. This unique blend of dried and smoked red chilies (ají cacho de cabra or goat s horn), toasted coriander seeds, cumin and salt is elaborated exclusively in the Araucanía Region of Chile by our natives, the Mapuches, ancient traditions.
  12. 12. Mapuche food and drinks Traditional Mapuche foods “Tradition” is constantly changing. European foods and cooking techniques that did not exist in the pre-conquest diet had become common by the 17th century (see Feasting with the Enemy: 17th Century Mapuche food), and military defeat in the 1890s and subsequent removal to reducciones (reservations) let to poverty and some malnutrition, but the Mapuche remained largely rural and self sufficient until the last third of the 20th century. Their diet was based on locally produced grains, tubers, vegetables, and meats; augmented by increasing (but limited) amounts of purchased flour, pasta, rice, sugar and oils: foods tabooed in many Mapuche areas in the early 20th century. The sopapillas and pebre  The pebre was a mixture of cilantro, parsley and basil, mashed with garlic and a little chili pepper and diluted with water and lemon juice. tomatican  – a traditional Mapuche stew The lamb stew piñone, or pine nut
  13. 13. Wheat beer: mudai or muday (chicha de trigo) Mudai, maize chicha, was traditionally made by cooking ground corn in water, adding masticated maize meal, and allowing the mixture to ferment.   The chewed meal contains enzymes from the saliva which convert the maize starch into sugar, which yeasts then convert into alcohol. (In making beer “malting” or sprouting the grain accomplishes the same purpose.)  Sometimes left over muday from a previous batch with well developed yeast was added to speed fermentation. The Mapuche quickly adapted the same process to wheat and barley.  Today’s mudai is made without mastication, and may be drunk at any stage in the fermentation process.  Lightly fermented mudai is a refreshing, milky and slightly sour drink. 
  14. 14. Mapuche art Silver jewelry In the long 300-year coexistence between the Spanish colonies and the relatively well-delineated autonomous Mapuche regions, the Mapuche also developed a strong tradition of trading with Spaniards and Chileans. It is this which lies at the heart of the Mapuche silver-working tradition, for it was from the large and widely-dispersed quantity of Spanish and Chilean silver coins that the Mapuche wrought their elaborate jewelry, head bands, etc. They are known for their beautiful metal work, especially jewelry such as their head dresses and necklaces. The influence of the silver coin from the Spaniards had a major . affect on their craftsmanship
  15. 15. Mapuche women & textile One of the best known arts of the Mapuche is the textiles. at the arrival of Europeans in the region of the Araucanía, natives of the area wore textiles made with camel's hair that they made from the raw material obtained from the breeding of these animals. Later, and with the addition of sheep brought by the Europeans, these Indians began breeding these animals and use their wool for making their weaves, after which it prevailed over the use of camelid hair. These fabrics were made by women who transmitted their knowledge from generation to generation, orally and through imitation of gestures, usually within the family environment. They were highly prized for their textile knowledge: through the development of their weaves, women played an important economic role and also cultural. For these reasons, at the time of giving a dowry for her marriage, a man must give a dowry much greater if the married woman was a good weaver. Currently, many Mapuche women continue making the tissue according to the customs of their ancestors and transmitting their knowledge in the same way: in the domestic scope and family, from mother to daughter, from grandmothers to granddaughters, as happened in the past. This form of learning is based on gestural imitation, and only rarely, and when strictly necessary, the apprentice receives explicit instructions or help from their instructors. This means that knowledge is transmitted in the moments of realization of fabrics: and “make” and transmission of knowledge go together.
  16. 16. In Andean societies textiles had a great importance. They were developed to be used as clothing, as tool and shelter for the home, as well as a status symbol. Tissue volumes made by Aboriginal women and marketed in the Araucanía and the north of the Patagonia Argentina were really considerable and constitute a vital economic resource for indigenous families.  At present, the fabrics woven by the Mapuche continue being destined for domestic as well as for gift, sale or barter. Although now women and their families wear garments with foreign designs and tailored with materials of industrial origin and only the ponchos, blankets, strips and belts are of regular use. Many of the fabrics made are intended for the trade and in many cases are an important source of income for families.
  17. 17. Some symbols of Mapuche culture Found in textiles
  18. 18. Wooden art Wood carving is one of the most traditional art manifestations in the mapuche territory. This technique took control of the utensils of old inhabitants of these lands, using for it the wood of the rich forests of the sector. Today it is continued working in the same way, with the axe and chip axe carving the wood but creating new products, some functional such as plates, spoons and buckets, sources, trays and others, in those use and decoration invent hens dish, ducks and others. They made utensils, plates, spoons, ritual masks. This kind of handcraftship transits between the domestic function and the possesion of a ritual meaning, for example, the masks represent the Kollom playing a specific rol in the Nguillatun ceremony. When a member of the Mapuche dies, a wooden carving known and a chemamull is placed to mark the grave site. Each carving in unique and can either be male or female. The statues are generally over 2 meters in height. The Rehue and the Chemamull are carved trunks that finish in wide heads. The ritual mask, the Kollon, is finished with horsehair. Chemamull
  19. 19. Basketry The humidity of the southern weather has disabled the conservation of these objects. However the trail of mapuche baskets can be followed through the stories left by the first spanish chronicles and afterwards by travelers. Metawe They are of usefull character principally. This mapuche basket can be considered like the most representative between their baskets. It has strong and thick texture that make besides the characteristics of its rigid fiber a container of great resistence and capacity. It serves to contain, move and wash grains such wheat and corn. Huilliches baskets In San Juan de la Costa near Osorno, baskets knitted with Boqui is quite characteristic. Two typesof baskets are elaborated. The one that uses “Quila” as raw material, it can be used to make baskets of various sizes destined for sale or domestic use: closets, baskets for washing clothes and wool. LLepu or Balai is the name that this mapuche basket receives, that is used mainly to throw and clean cereals. It is knitted in different places in the same way but with different materials: with Ñoca in Arauco, with Quila in Cautín and with Boqui Pifulco in San Juan de la Costa. The technique used is with the aduja, that gives objects of great resistence and lasting. Baskets for wheat, to pick potatos or murtas. And the one that use “Boqui” as raw material, worked with the needle technique and the buttonhole stich: this production is of specialists and since the 80´s decade it is orientated to the matket. The “Boqui” is a variety of bindweed that grows in the mountains in the thickest part of the native forest, offering thickness and solidity to this handcraft.
  20. 20. Pottery Nowadays, in the Mapuche territory a large variety of pottery is still manufactured. The most Known Metawes has simple lines and natural colors. In the p a s t , P t i rè n , re p re s e n t e d t h e d e g re e o f development reached by this art before the arrival of the conquers. The Mapuche pottery are slowly disappearing by lack of use. They distinguish various stylistic, but generally they are asymmetrical with shapes of ducks or frogs, some with eyes “coffe grain” tipe, cups like vasses and plates. But we have to stand out the pieces called “effigy dishes”, with clays natural colour. Some represent human beings or objects such as “duck-dishes” or “frog-dishes”, posibly linked to “ngenko”, “the owner of the waters” . between the pottery objects that represent human beings, we stand out various pieces that represent a standing pregnant woman with her hands hugging or touching her womb, in clear allusion to the idea of fecundity.
  21. 21. Mapuche beliefs and traditions are tightly bound to their relationship with the earth. For generations only women make pottery, because of the ties between earth and its fecundity. Women trek alone into the quarries to fetch minerals that give the pottery its color and glint. The clay and minerals are dried in the sun, and then cleaned with water and kneaded with fine sand. The piece is gradually fashioned into shape, and then polished with stones before firing the figure in a kiln in the ground. Still With The Original forms, pottery Mapuche Has Been Always Been conservative in the shapes and motifs in jugs and jars Used. On the south bank of Bío Bío River lies the village of Quinchamalí, where a very special black pottery is produced. Its production consists of house ware and decorative pieces. This craft is distinguished by its black glossy touch, achieved by smoking each piece (reduced burning), while still preserving the color of the hotplate. Mapuche pottery, with its own origin and tradition is very sought after in foreign markets, especially its functional and symbolic pieces.
  22. 22. Musical Instruments Pifilka Rustic whistle with a single orifice, without a determined tone and a real high sound. In the Mapuche culture it represents a bird named “Ñandu” calling her sons. Those are the whistles that are usually used by the Kuriche, during the Mapuche rogation. Pifilka Trutuka A large instrument that belongs to the family of aerophones. Galvanized pipe about 3 meters long with an old animal horn in one of its ends. The sounds comes when you exhale. It is played in the Patagonia and used in all types of ceremonies. Its validity grade is very close to the chamanic practice of the Machi, being the one that practices the aborigin empiric-magical medicine and presides the different rituals of the Mapuche community. Trutuka Kaskawilla Kaskawilla Bronze instrument, in the past it was based on pumpkins. In the rogation, the Kaskawilla is played by the Ñankan, the Machi assistant. Piloilo This Mapuche musical instrument is used to cheer up parties. Its structure is of bone or stone. It is similar to the Pifilka, but it has more than one orifice. Piloilo
  23. 23. The Kultrun The Kultrun is the symbolic microcosmo of the Machi and the Mapuche Culture, in which it takes the shape of its particular spiritual conception of the universe. Its drawn membrane represents the cosmic superstructure and its diverse inmaterial components, representing like the four divisions of the square earth platform, oriented according to the four cardinal points, beginnig in the East, up to the land of the Four Places, or Meli Witran Mapu. On the other side, the wooden pot of the Kultrun, with the symbolic objects introduced in it, represent the cosmic and earthly infrastructure with its diverse material components. The Kultrun sums up the cosmic and earthly components, material and inmaterial, representing a synthesis of universe; a topographic limit that separates the natural earthly world from the supernatural world. It represents the symbolic structure of the Mapuche worldview, and such structure reflects the existence of contradictions and internal conflicts in the Mapuche beleifs.
  24. 24. Dances Dance is an activity practiced by man, that was born by the human necesity of expression. It is being spoken like spiritual motives characterized by fear, petitions or gratitudes to the divinity; of erotic or afective reason; of the warrior reason to scare the enemy and self excite himself to attack in battle, or the reason leagued to the crop celebration, etc. All this explain why dancing involves a message, it is significant and has a spìritual content besides the esthetic one.
  25. 25. Mapuche Clothing The traditional dress for a woman is the Chamal or Kepal; a square cloth, wrapped around the body leaving the shoulder naked, the waistband or Trarihue, which is tied to the waist; and the Ikulla, a black shawl with blue edges. The man wears black pants called Chiripa and the Makuñ, a finely woven poncho, which may have a simple decoration or rows of figures.
  26. 26. Mapuche mythology The mapuches of today have managed to establish a new dimension of what is religious in a syncretism that includes the catholic religion as well as protestant evangelic cults. The machi The machi or shaman is fundamental in the configuration of mapuche's myths and rites. She is the mediator between the natural and supernatural worlds. To this effect, she uses the kultrung, a ceremonial drum where the universe is represented symbolically in four parts by means of a cross; the upper quadrants represent sky configurations while the lower quadrant represents the earth. This skyearth opposition would be equivalent to the masculine-feminine opposition or to the cycles of nature. The mapuche man is located in the center of the cosmos, where the four cardinal points converge. This is the meli witran mapu (land of four corners). She is often described as a good witch, but in truth her role is that of a spiritual healer within the Mapuche community. Healing ceremonies are private affairs and outsiders of the community are very rarely able to view the process. The Machi has an extensive knowledge of medicinal herbs. Her training comes from an apprenticeship with an older Machi would guides the younger woman into the rights of weather prediction, dream interpretation, warding off evil and curing illnesses. The Healing ceremony
  27. 27. Further to this quaternary order, the mapuche's cosmos is structured in an "up" and a "down". The celestial region, wenu mapu, is occupied by groups of deities headed by a Ngnechen, king or owner of men, a deity endowed with opposing attributes, such as masculine-feminine, oldyoung. Also the stars are deities, as killen (the moon), weelfe (the morning star), wanglen (the stars). They have an influence on the machi's public prayers, where she invokes relevant beings already gone. The ordering of the universe and of all beings has endowed it with a mythical character. There are two cardinal points related to good: south and east, while north and west are evil. Pillan is a deity proper of the east, that lives behind the mountains. The east is not only the place where the sun, the moon or the stars rise, but it also represents the place from where all powers and forces capable of securing life are generated. To invoke this deity is fundamental for ascending toward the sacred world. The ruka should be directed to that point, also as the machi directs the rewe in that sense. The north and west are identified as evil; the first one as wind bearers of bad weather, while the west is the point where the sun sets and the dead rest in peace. The nag-mapu subworld (opposed to the wenu mapu) is the place of evil and of occult forces. Black is its symbolic color. The wekfe, beings of darkness, live here. However, kuri as a color, symbolizes what is strong and power ful. Christianity has generated a number of changes in m a p u c h e s ' b e l i e f s , t u r n i n g t h e m t o w a rd monotheism. Today, the Supreme Being is called God Father (chau-Dios), creator and owner of men and the universe. Pillan is identified more like a demon than a beneficial deity The Pillan The Mapuche Jesus birth
  28. 28. Mapuche mythology characters Colo Colo The football team Colo Colo,  one of the most popular in the country, is named after a legendary Mapuche animal that has different forms depending on who you talk to, with body parts of a snake, rooster, and rat and cries like a newborn child. The Peuchen  is a figured feared by many Mapuche. It is able to shift its form instantly and become any animal. It has the ability to petrify its victims and suck the blood from humans and animals alike.
  29. 29. The Kai Kai and Tren Tren Like most ancient cultures, the Mapuche have their own version of the great flood. They speak of two serpents, one the keeper of land and the other of water. When the water serpent Kai Kai tried to take over the land from his enemy, the serpent Tren Tren, the other snake protected the people by bringing them to the mountains. Once the water subsided the people were able to return to the valleys and repopulate the earth. Lituche and Domo The first two humans in Mapuche mythology are Lituche and Domo. Domo, the first female was created from a star and the flowers and grass grew so that she could walk upon softer ground.
  30. 30. Mapuche ceremonies In several mapuche ritual ceremonies, and according to the cosmovision, the compensation of the forces of good (Ngnechen) by those of evil (wekfe) is pursued. The first one means life and construction, the second, destruction and death. Among the most relevant, the following should be mentioned: nguillatun, a ceremony of prayer, the machitun, healing ritual, the wentripantu or celebration of the New Year, day of the winter solstice; the funeral and initiation rites may also be included. The nguillatun  requires a place specially disposed to that end. The rewe is installed at the center and participants gather around. It lasts a minimum of two days and a maximum of four. In certain zones of the Araucania they were held each two, three or four years, as needed. The public prayer is held for various motives: the weather, the crops, to avoid illness or for plenty of food. During the ceremony there is dancing accompanied by different prayers. Moreover, an animal is sacrificed, generally a lamb for the ngepin, who directs the rite. Then the animal's blood is sprinkled or distributed among the guests, and the ritual drink mudai (fermented grain) is offered to participants. The dead animal's body may be completely burnt down in a bonfire in order to be eaten.
  31. 31. Machitun ceremony The machitún is the healing ceremony. The machi, who nowadays is almost always a female, presides the ritual. In dreams, she receives the ancestral knowledge and the power to influence the nature of sicknesses and other natural phenomena. The traveler E.R. Smith (middle of the XIXth century) describes the rite as follows: “When one resorts to a machi the visit takes place at dawn, because this is the most precise time for her managements… The patient must lie on his back in the middle of the ruka, all family members are asked to leave or, otherwise, they must facing the wall. After checking the symptoms, the machi begins a long magic ceremony consisting in a monotonous chant along with the playing of a small drum, made by a sheepskin stretched over a wooden frame. She becomes excited, making gestures and violent contortions, until falling on her back as in an epileptic fit, with her eyes turned up and foam coming out of her mouth and her body twisted in convulsions. At the same time, she manipulates the sick part of the body, until extracting the evil that causes the sickness, which is exhibited with open demonstrations of triumph. The sickness generally assumes the form of a spider, a frog, or another creature that the machi had hidden.”. She lies on the floor, as if dead, for along time. At this signal, young naked men, fearfully painted, gallop bareback on their horses around the ruka, filling the air with their yells. They carry torches, which they wave over their heads, as well as spears, used to scare off the evil sprits which lie waiting to harm the sick person… When the machi recovers, she declares the nature of the sickness and proceeds to the administration of remedies.
  32. 32. Mapuche language  Traditionally, Mapudungun, the Mapuche language, has been considered an isolated language, not directly related to any other language in the southern cone (Lenz 1886:XXII). For Englers (1936:80), there is a relation, although distant, between the Mapuche, the Quechua and the Aymara world. According to standard classification, The Mapuche belong to the Araucano sub-family (Araucano family Chon), of the Andean group, Andean-equatorial branch. Other authors, as Stark and Hams, have genetically linked the Mapuches with the Mayans. Mary Kay sustains that the Mapuche people are kin to the tacano-panoas of Peru and Bolivia. Payne has said that there is a link to the Arawak families of the equatorial group, Andean equatorial branch. The phonetic system of Mapudungun consists of six vowels: a, e, i, o, u, ï; three semi consonants: y, w, g, and eighteen consonants: c, o, f, k, l, a, m, n, p, r, s, t, t, tr. The pronunciation of the vowels is as follows: a is similar to the English a as in man e is similar to the English e as in end i is similar to the English i as in pin o is similar to the English o as in cold u is similar to the English oo as in moon The sixth vowel ï can be pronounced like a u, but with the lips place in an e position. The mapuche verbs have the particularity of expressing several people interacting among themselves, for example: teli-n: I looked, leli-e-n: you looked at me. The numerical system of the Mapuches is decimal and each word corresponds to a unit: 1 kiñe 2 epu
  33. 33. Several theories deal with the relation between Mapudungun and other languages. According to standard classification, The Mapuche belong to the Araucano sub-family (Araucano family Chon) of the Andean group, Andean-equatorial branch. Authors as Tovar (1961) suggest that Mapudungun belongs to the type II Andean group, along with languages such as Quechua, Ayamara, Aonikenk (Tewelche), Sel´knam (ona) and Yagán. Luisa Stark relates Mapudungun to the Maya Language. Payne, in 1984, speaks of a kinship between Mapudungun and the languages of the Arawak family, of the equatorial group, corresponding to the Andean- equatorial branch.
  34. 34. Mapuche struggle  Today they continue to have a political struggle with the Chilean government to maintain their own land. Many now live in impoverished conditions due to the loss of their land. Many Mapuche also have the internal struggle of maintaining the rituals and traditions of their ancient culture in an ever-changing world with greater influences from the outside world.
  35. 35. Mapuche tourism   There is a museum dedicated only to Mapuche artifacts just outside of Cañete, south of Concepción near Lago Lanalhue Contulmo. The museum displays a wide collection of intricate silver jewelry, textiles, ceramics, weapons and more. There is also an example of a ruca, or traditional Mapuche home made of wood and straw and often circular in shape. Several other Chilean museums also dedicate portions to Mapuche artifacts. You can also find modern Mapuche products in the street fairs throughout the Southern half of the country. Unlike the floating islands of Lake Titicaca where the locals have preserved their way of life and market it as a tourist attraction, living on display and sharing their ancient customs, the Mapuche generally remain very closed. While you should have no problem finding Mapuche products and crafts while travelling here getting an up close personal look at the Mapuche way of life is a rare experience for most tourists. links: Information from
  36. 36. Thanks! www.andean-­‐   info@andean-­‐