Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Unveiling an Indomitable Culture

Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Unveiling an Indomitable Culture

Article excerpt

Inside Philadelphia's Port of History Mesuem, Manuel Raimon, a 22-year-old Mapuche Indian, recently reconstructed a ruka, the traditional wood and adobe dwelling of his ancestors.

The structure had been built by his family in Chile and then disassembled for shipment to Philadelphia. This was Manuel's first experience building a ruka - today most of the country's half-million Mapuches live in modern homes.

The thatch-topped dwelling is one of the most unsual components of an extraordinary exhibition of the history, art and culture of the Mapuche, the major ancient native Indian people of Chile. Containing museum pieces never before seen outside of Chile, Mapuche. Seeds of the Chilean Soul will be on view in the City of Brotherly Love from March 27 through June 30, 1992.

Over 200 artificial and photographs from the collections of the world-famous Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino in Santiago illuminate the story of the Mapuche, from their origins (500 AD) through their fierce struggles to maintain their independence and ethnic identity, first against the Inca and later the Spanish conquistadores, to contemporary dilemmas within today's dominant Chilean society. One of the largest surviving ethnic group in the Americas, they call themselves the "people of the land" and are renowned for their close bonds with the earth and its elements.

The exhibition includes Mapuche silverwork, some of the finest in the western Hemisphere. A breastplate with a waterfowl motif and a pair of detailed spurs are among the visually opulent items. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.