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Magallania (Punta Arenas)

On-line version ISSN 0718-2244


URBINA C, M. XIMENA. Historical-cultural analysis of Larch in the western septeptrional Patagonia, Chiloé, XVI-XIX centuries. Magallania [online]. 2011, vol.39, n.2, pp.57-73. ISSN 0718-2244.

In this article, different aspects of larch grove exploitation in continental Chiloé is analysed from the colony period through early XX century, i.e. the provinces currently known as Llanquihue and Palena at the Los Lagos region, and which comprise most of the growing area for this tree species. Small and large-scale larch felling for commercial purposes (exports outside Chiloe) represented the main economic activity for the colonial Chiloé and the province during the XIX century, as it was regarded as a highly valuable wood. felling works, management, transportation and commercialization, and above all the human type of the scenario shaped in a way the behaviour of Chiloe inhabitants, a form to understand and relate with their territory. The objective is to emphasize the historical and cultural significance of this tree and its wood, along with its material and immaterial culture. based on diverse colonial documents, both edited and fled, and information generated by external observers, we will describe this activity and trade methods. Larch felling involved two stages for the mentioned period: an "artisanal" stage and a "business" stage, which gave rise to a vocabulary, a trade and a way of life: the Chilote stage.

Keywords : Larch; Chiloé; Patagonia; Colony.

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