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ERIC Number: EJ787787
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0161-6463
Ethnic Prejudice against the Mapuche in Chilean Society as a Reflection of the Racist Ideology of the Spanish Conquistadors
Merino, Maria E.; Quilaqueo, Daniel
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, v27 n4 p105-116 2003
The conquest of Chile and of America in general constituted an encounter between different and mutually unknown civilizations that discovered the existence of an "extreme otherness" which European civilization would generically call "Indians." The Spanish encounter with the aboriginals was both violent and subtle. The conquistadors' main aim was to collect the largest amount of gold and silver as quickly and easily as possible: a purpose that led their leaders to learn about the Indian "enemy," get close to them, and win their confidence in order to subjugate and colonize them. Cortes, in Mexico, was the prototypical conquistador using communicative abilities and native language to interpret the behavior of Indians, and temporarily adapting to their structures in order to conquer them. The behavior of Cortes, and of the Spanish conquistadors, was based on a racist ideology in contemporary Europe with distinctive political, economic, and religious attitudes toward the "New World." The Spanish crown backed Columbus' enterprise in order to gain wealth (bullion, spices, etc.), create colonies, and convert the "pagan" Indians to Christianity. This article examines the development of this ideology in creating stereotypes and prejudices against the Mapuche (Native Americans) by the non-Mapuche who settled in Chile. The authors argue that the inhabitants of Temuco--a southern Chilean city in an area with a large Mapuche population--retain these stereotypes and prejudices in their everyday discourse: an attitude that is generally more explicit in lower-class individuals and more implicit among the middle and upper classes. This article analyzes comments in the regional press during the previous century and the everyday language of non-Mapuche inhabitants of Temuco. (Contains 35 notes.)
American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548. Tel: 310-825-7315; Fax: 310-206-7060; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Chile; Spain