TOWARDS A TRANSANDEAN MAPUCHE POLITICS: RITUAL AND POWER IN CHILE AND ARGENTINA, 1792-1834
Rosemblatt, Karin A
MetadataShow full item record
Towards a Transandean Mapuche Politics examines how unconquered indigenous groups in the Southern Cone of South America impacted the transition from colony to nation (1792-1834), a moment when European and indigenous sovereignties were thrown in to question. It focuses on the intersection of indigenous politics and Latin America’s Age of Revolution. This project intervenes in the growing debates over transnational history and borderlands studies to demonstrate how the transandean Mapuche-Spanish frontier was both a political and an epistemological space. Mapuche sovereignty resisted categorizations by empires and nations, impeded the political and economic projects articulated by Europeans and creoles, and compelled foreign actors to participate in Mapuche diplomatic rituals much longer than previously thought. It begins by looking at a late colonial treaty negotiation in 1793 to reconstruct diplomatic rituals developed by Mapuche leaders to defend their sovereignty. This project then extends these insights on both sides of the Andes mountain range until a military campaign led by Argentine President Juan Manuel de Rosas against Mapuche and other indigenous groups inhabiting the Pampas in 1833-1834. By looking at military, ecclesiastical, and Mapuche correspondence from Chile, Argentina, and Spain, it demonstrates that groups like the Mapuche, who inhabited the seemingly marginal frontiers of Spain’s American empire, were in fact central actors in its transformation. Analyzing Mapuche diplomacy in southern Chile and western Argentina from the late eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century demonstrates how indigenous relations in a border region provide different genealogies for our understanding of sovereignty in the Age of Revolution. Mapuche sovereignty ran parallel too, but intersected with the fraught end of empire and formation of nation states. These interactions along the old Spanish/Mapuche frontier, which stretched across the continent from the Pacific Coast of Chile to the mouth of the River Plate, were but the tip of the iceberg in the broader, transandean Mapuche political world that confounded the spatial imaginaries of empires and nations.