LindenLAB 7: El "buen vivir" mapuche

What is a “good life”?

At the center of LindenLAB 7 is the contemporary silver jewelry made by silversmiths Millaray Garrido and Mario Cayupi, with the accompanying costumes of two ritual assistants (ñangkan) of shamans (machi). Both the traditional costumes and the silver jewelry incorporate elements that relate to Mapuche cosmology and thus to buen vivir. The spiritual balance between man, nature, ancestors and spirits guarantees a good life, the buen vivir. The shamans and their ñangkan are responsible for maintaining or even restoring this balance through rituals.

A living culture

For the Mapuche artists, it was of great importance to be able to give a contemporary collection to a European museum that represents the vibrancy, beauty and diversity of Mapuche culture. The presentation is complemented by elements of the historical collection selected by Juana Paillalef.

Wallmapu, the Mapuche region

The Mapuche (people of the earth, from Mapundungún mapu = earth and che = people) live mostly in Chile, a good tenth in Argentina. Today, it is estimated that there are approximately two million people who identify as Mapuche. Most of them now live in the major Chilean cities of Santiago de Chile and Concepción. The core region of Mapuche territory, however, is Araucanía in southern Chile, with the city of Temuco as its commercial and political center. In 1883, the Mapuche were subjugated by the Chilean and Argentinean militaries and incorporated into their respective states. From the middle of the 19th century, many Europeans, especially Germans, immigrated to the Araucanía. To this day, the southern Chilean Lake District is strongly influenced by German immigration. Despite this long period of colonization, the Mapuche managed to preserve their culture and give it new validity through re-traditionalization.

LAB partners

LindenLAB 7 was designed in collaboration with Juana Paillalef, who is Mapuche herself and was director of the Museo Mapuche in Cañete, Chile, until December 2021. She researched the collection of the Linden Museum in collaboration with other experts, such as the famous Mapuche silversmith José Antonio Painecura.

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