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El hornero

Print version ISSN 0073-3407On-line version ISSN 1850-4884


RAIMILLA, Víctor  and  RAU, Jaime. Percepciones humanas sobre las aves rapaces: una revisión sinóptica centrada en las costumbres y mitos de la zona sur-austral de Chile. Hornero [online]. 2017, vol.32, n.1, pp.139-149. ISSN 0073-3407.

Raptors have symbolized power at global scale and have participated in myths and local legends. In the south-austral zone of Chile, human perceptions towards raptors are widely varied mainly as a result of a cultural mix between Spanish conquerors and native peoples (mapuche, selk’nam, yagan). Raptors have been considered by humans as beneficial birds to agriculture (e.g., pest control), but also as harmful because they prey over poultry and are believed as “bad omens”. We conducted a synoptic but comprehensive search of the academic literature, along with books on myths and legends of south-austral Chile in order to evaluate the perception that inhabitants have of them. We found that Milvago chimango, Caracara plancus, Parabuteo unicinctus, owls and raptors with the generic name of hawks are associated with harmfulness or bad omens. Milvago chimango, Elanus leucurus and owls are considered beneficial to health and the human subsistence economy.

Keywords : Bad omen; Ethno-ornithology; Historical accounts; Myths; Poetic inspiration.

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