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Memoria americana

versión On-line ISSN 1851-3751


INSAUSTI, Joaquín García. No te quiebres ni te dobles. Appropriation and use of iron in waiki or spears among the Reche-Mapuche. Mem. am. [online]. 2023, vol.31, n.1, pp.44-65.  Epub 07-Sep-2023. ISSN 1851-3751.

Since the beginning of the European invasion of Araucanía territories, the historical sources reveal the natives' eagerness to appropriate iron-made objects. The advantages of utensils made from this material, in terms of resistance and durability, were quickly recognized by these groups, to use them in multiple ways, among which the crafting of waiki or spears stands out. As studies on mapuche ethnogenesis suggest, war played a fundamental role in the process of sociocultural transformation, allowing the selective incorporation and creative resignification of enemy elements which were considered positive. Taking this into account, we will examine the strategies of iron appropriation and its use in waiki, objects with profound symbolic implications that can be considered both a result and a driving force of the ethnogenetic transformation process.

Palabras clave : war; weapons; Mapuche; ethnogenesis.

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