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Chungará (Arica)

On-line version ISSN 0717-7356

Abstract

MOLINA OTAROLA, Raúl. THE OTHER MULETEERS TRADERS OF THE VALLEYS, THE HIGHLANDS AND THE ATACAMA DESERT. Chungará (Arica) [online]. 2011, vol.43, n.2, pp.177-187. ISSN 0717-7356.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-73562011000200002.

The "arriería" or mule-trade transport has been a relevant activity for the relationships between the Argentinean Northwestern region and the Atacama Desert, playing a key role in the flow of supplies and communication between these two borderland territories. This "arriería" has two aspects: one is the "hacendal" dedicated mainly to cattle driving to supply meat to the mining centers and to the Pampa. This activity lasted until the middle of the 20th Century and was recorded in respective national statistical registries. In studies of this type of "arriería", muleteers are not mentioned; most of the time they are cited as natives or indigenous people. The second aspect of "arriería" is performed by families of the highlands and the desert, who haul their own cattle and goods to establish two-way connections through the borderland territory. This activity is accomplished outside any government or state control and is maintained by long-distance social relationships. Contrary to the "arriería hacendal" -studied by virtue of secondary information-, to understand this other type of "arriería" we need to focus on these "other" muleteer traders. From this point of view our work conveys important aspects for understanding this trans-borderland territory exchange during the XX and the beginning of the XXI Centuries.

Keywords : Mule-trade transports ("arriería; trans-borderland articulation; exchange; transhumance; Atacamenian Desert and Puna.

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