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vol.32 issue1Recognition and uses of rhea tarapacensis by residents in the catchment area of the San Guillermo Biosphere Reserve (San Juan, Argentina) author indexsubject indexarticles search
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MUDRIK, Armando. “El ñandú” en el cielo: etnoastronomía de gringos, criollos e indígenas y las representaciones celestes de Rhea americana en el sur del Chaco argentino. Hornero [online]. 2017, vol.32, n.1, pp.07-17. ISSN 0073-3407.

In this paper, we take a cultural astronomy approach to study the astronomical representations of the Greater Rhea (Rhea americana) among Indians and European immigrants and their descendants settled in the agricultural colonies in the northern area of the province of Santa Fe, in the southern Argentinean Chaco. Through the dialogue between our ethnographic field research among these immigrants and their descendants and the results of previous studies about two Guaycuru societies (Toba and Mocovi Indians), we explore the cultural role and the different astronomical representations of the Greater Rhea. We expose various relationships between these representations and different aspects of the social life of the studied groups. Then, analyzing some of these relationships, we show the logic used in these associations. In particular, we show that these cultural groups have shared astronomical representations of the Greater Rhea, and also knowledge about its biological cycle and its behaviour in relation with humans. This research intends to add to the interpretation of how the European colonists and their descendants interacted with their new natural and socio-cultural environment, and also to the understanding of the role of the Greater Rhea in the processes of ethnic interaction in the Chaco Region of Argentina.

Keywords : Argentinean Chaco; Colonists; Ethnoastronomy; Ethno-ornitology; European immigrants; Guaycurues; Rhea americana.

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