Power and words in the work Vida y costumbres de los indigenas araucanos de la segunda mitad del siglo XIX

The present article analyses relations between horizons of understanding, translation practices and recognition dynamics in the text Vida y costumbres de los indigenas araucanos de la segunda mitad del siglo XIX(Life and customs of the Araucano indigenous people in the second half of the nineteenth century) by Father Ernesto Wilhelm de Moesbach, which may be considered a key testimonial for observation of the intersocial relations between the Mapuche people and Chilean society at the end of the nineteenth and the start of the twentieth centuries. More specifically, we examine the relation between the frames of meaning which order and project that work, i.e. the prologue by Rodolfo Lenz and the preface by Father Ernesto de Moesbach, and the ethnographical account of the life and customs of the Mapuche in the words of Pascual Cona. We also examine the use of translation as a practice capable of valuing or disregarding the material translated, in this case the biography of lonko [chief] Pascual Cona, paying special attention to how the socio-cultural practices and cultural authorities are treated as a way of accessing the Mapuche world view. We consider that this type of analysis, which refers to a dialectic between different narratives tensioned by power relations, allows us to understand contextually situated interethnic relations.

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