((((Pusmodernidá)))): From the Pacifier to the basket:

The pacifier as a wild fruit, is less and less known by modern santiaguinos. Before, it was the style of bringing the pacifiers loaded with pacifiers from the South; to delight with its flavor, the nostalgic southerners settled in the capital. Some people - surely out of curiosity - have been able to try the pacifiers. But nevertheless, they could not recognize the plant even if they had it in front of their noses. The pacifier in the eyes of the city may seem a very "exotic" fruit; since he is accustomed to always consume the same products (mostly packaged or very elaborate) and therefore not familiar with wild products. But nevertheless, strictly speaking the pacifier is not "exotic", but rather the opposite is a native wild fruit. That is, as Chilean as the maquis, peumos or myrtles. But the common people, usually think that blackberries, raspberries and rosehips are wild Chilean plants; being in fact exotic plants, that were introduced from other latitudes, and that now, they are better known than the own native species of our country.

Perhaps the only way to value the crafts produced by indigenous communities in a fairer or more balanced way would be to inform the potential buyers and consumers of traditional indigenous art of the values ​​involved in these products. less informed of what is buying in some way undervalues ​​the product, since it does not know the cultural context of its manufacture. In contrast a more informed public about the product, can value it more and surely would be willing to pay more. Possibly a selective public that can value and pay more for works of higher quality and of course of greater ethnic, cultural and natural added value. Unfortunately, most of these baskets are bought at a low price by merchants and intermediaries, who take advantage of the trouble and need to sell that weavers have, especially in the winter months, to buy at a good price, and then get a good profit in resale. Without a doubt the price paid to own artisans for their baskets, do not reward in any measure the great amount of time and effort that is dedicated to the weaving, nevertheless these women continue making their baskets in spite of that it is not a good business. you will someday come to have in your hands a basket of fiber of pacifier, jonquil, or ñocha or voqui, in your hands, think that surely that basket comes from the hands of some Mapuche artisan, and that in their teji two are also tied the deep knowledge of a people who has managed to respectfully handle the natural resources of this land.

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Text and Photos: Guillermo Molina Holmes, 1999. (CC).

  • Adam Floyd