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Chungará (Arica)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-7356

Resumen

CAMPBELL, Roberto. BETWEEN EL VERGEL AND THE MAPUCHE SILVERWORK: METAL-WORKING IN POST-CONTACT ARAUCANIA (AD 1550-1850). Chungará (Arica) [online]. 2015, vol.47, n.4, pp.621-644.  Epub 28-Oct-2015. ISSN 0717-7356.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-73562015005000046.

The indigenous Araucanian metalworking development from AD 1550 to AD 1850 remains unknown. In order to approach this period two metalworking traditions are defined: the El Vergel and the Mapuche Silverwork. Theformer corresponds to prehistoric times and was present to AD1550 whereas the latter reached its splendourfrom AD1850. Material archaeological records as well as graphic and written historical records are used to discuss the period between these two dates. This period was assessedfollowing four axes: raw materials, artifacts, individuals, and contexts. It is proposed that there was: (a) a shift from a mostly copper-based technology to a technology based almost exclusively on silver, and (b) a complete replacement of the morphology of the manufactured artifacts. However, the metal artifacts continued to be worn almost exclusively by women. Finally, the Mapuche Silverwork reached such a high valuation that it precluded its incorporation into funerary contexts and also resulted in the devaluation of the beads adornments. The development of metalworking in historic times is then a testimony of the deep political, social, and economic changes that the indigenous society went through, from the European arrival until its incorporation into the Chilean state.

Palabras clave : Metalworking; metallurgy; El Vergel; Mapuche Silverwork; social complexity; cultural contact.

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