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Magallania (Punta Arenas)

On-line version ISSN 0718-2244


NUNEZ, Andrés G; MOLINA O, Raúl; ALISTE A, Enrique  and  BELLO M, Álvaro. Geographical silences in Patagonia-Aysén: Territory, nomadism and perspectives for re-thinking the margins of Chile in the nineteenth century. Magallania [online]. 2016, vol.44, n.2, pp.107-130. ISSN 0718-2244.

We discuss the idea and the representation of a void which was constructed for the coast of Patagonia-Aysen after the supposed abandonment of the area by the Chonos indigenous people in the 18 th and 19 th centuries. We identify important activities and functions carried out by people from Chiloe during the 19 th century in order to challenge this geographical imaginary. The occupation of the archipelagos by the indigenous population of Chiloé implicated coordination of these island spaces with Chiloé Island; it paved the way for and provided a bridge to the occupation of the mainland zone of Aysén at the beginning of the twentieth century. We conclude that this production of a geographical void was linked to the need to control these extensive tracts of territory from a centre-periphery perspective which was consistent with the Modernisation project. From this perspective, the static settlement of the territories, like cattle-farming concessions, was made visible; the nomadism of the indigenous population was -and remains- considered non-existent, and the territory was considered a settled area at the margins of the country.

Keywords : nomadism; centre-periphery; Patagonia-Aysen; geographic silences; colonising occupation.

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