Thursday, 21 January 2021
  • A A A

  • Textile Details

    'Represión a los Mapuche / Repression of the Mapuche',by Pamela Luque. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
    'Represión a los Mapuche / Repression of the Mapuche',by Pamela Luque. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


    Title of Textile:Represión a los Mapuche / Repression of the Mapuche
    Maker: Pamela Luque
    Country of Origin: Chile
    Year Produced: 2015
    Size (cm): 51cm x 46cm
    Materials: Scraps of material sewn onto burlap
    Type of Textile: Arpillera

    The Mapuche indigenous people in the Araucanía region of Southern Chile have endured colonisation for well over 500 years, first at the hands of the Spanish settlers and later by the Chilean state. Land struggles and demanding restitution of their former lands is an ongoing issue for the indigenous Mapuche. For them, living without land is in itself a denial of their identity, as Mapuche means People of the Land.

    Chilean Pamela Luque, living in Ireland for 20 years, was moved to create this arpillera depicting the oppression of the Mapuche in her native Chile, after viewing a video clip of the aftermath of a Mapuche demonstration in 2012. Here we see the police entering the home of Guillermina Painevilu and her daughter Susanna Guzman, who were onlookers at the demonstration. In the presence of Susanna’s children the police strike the Grandmother and forcibly remove her daughter.

    For Pamela, this event represents: “how the Mapuche, particularly women are oppressed and targeted by the police…[who] have the power and feel they can do what they want.”

    In the background we see hills dotted with the ancient Arucaria (monkey puzzle) trees, above which the words of a Mapuche poem are inscribed, illustrating the deep Mapuche connection to the land: “Don’t imprison me...let my rivers flow...let the blossoming freedom return.”

    Owner: Conflict Textiles collection
    Location: Roberta Bacic, Northern Ireland
    Original / Replica: Original
    Photographer: Martin Melaugh

    Textile Detail Image(s)