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Chungará (Arica)

On-line version ISSN 0717-7356

Abstract

CLARKSON, Persis B.. CARAVANS OF THE NORTH: A COMPARISON OF 20 th C CARAVANS IN NORTHERN CANADA AND NORTHERN CHILE. Chungará (Arica) [online]. 2019, vol.51, n.1, pp.57-69. ISSN 0717-7356.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-73562019005000101.

An examination of the historic caravans of northern Canada in the 20th c reveals compelling historical, technological, economic, social, political, and kinship comparisons to the developments of caravans in northern Chile in the 20th c. In Canada, the transport of goods across the northern reaches of the prairie provinces was spurred by mining and logging interests, and began with horses and donkeys, subsequently shifting to gasoline engine power when they became available, via "cat (caterpillar tractor) freight sleighs". In northern Chile, camelid caravans had been replaced in many instances by horse and donkey caravans to haul the goods required for mining copper and nitrate. As vehicles became available, the horse and donkey caravans were replaced at the same time that roads were built, often along the same trails that had been used by animal caravans for hundreds and thousands of years. While rapid and convenient vehicle transport is widely available in both Canada and Chile, transport that is dependent upon and limited by specific environmental parameters has not been universally replaced, and continues to fill important social, economic, political, and behavioural roles that can be considered in reviewing and reconstructing ancient caravan lifeways.

Keywords : Canada; Chile; caravans.

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