Archaeological and Anthropological Perspectives on the Native Peoples of Pampa, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego to the Nineteenth Century: by Claudia Briones (Editor), José Luis Lanata (Editor)
The Spanish conquerors who explored the southern cone of South America reported back to Europe that the region was empty of human inhabitants. In truth, however, the large area supported a thriving, albeit low-density, population of foragers. Those foragers―the Mapuche, Tehuelche, Rankuelche, and Fueguian peoples―are the subject of this volume, which presents archaeological and ethnographic studies of their past.
The southern cone of South America was one of the last regions to be colonized on earth. When the Spanish Royal Crown experienced difficulties expanding its colonial frontiers to include these lands, the area became known as a vast wildnerness at the very edge of the civilized world. As a result, the native peoples who did indeed inhabit the area were marginalized and as time passed the significance of their historical experience was ignored. This compilation of research by noted scholars of the region investigates the past of peoples largely neglected by the historical accounts of their conquerors. The history of the native peoples of Pampa, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego is a vital aspect of the region's past. Their historical knowledge and experience play a vital role in the struggle of a people to maintain a sense of cultural difference in an ever-changing world.