Colonial Borderlands and Conflicting Landscapes in Colonial Chile

Author(s): Beatriz Marin-Aguilera

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Contested Landscapes: The Archaeology of Politics, Borders, and Movement" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Chile was the most important and complex borderland of the Spanish Empire (1550–1818), in which colonial power and indigenous resistance were contested over centuries. Control over this frontier was of vital importance for the Spaniards because the main Pacific harbour was located there. The indigenous people, known as Reche-Mapuche, defeated the Incas and were never conquered. The Spaniards struggled as well to subjugate them, and eventually conceded their independence upon the acknowledgement of the Spanish King. Since Chile, and particularly Valdivia, gave access to the Pacific, many European powers tried to conquer the Reche-Mapuche people, among them the Dutch and the British. However, their attempts were similarly unsuccessful. Removed from the empire’s core, the Reche-Mapuche communities shaped a very dynamic and productive colonial borderland that also functioned as a material crossroad between the Spaniards, the Dutch, the British, and other local communities. This paper explores the continuous reshaping of colonial landscapes through political and social struggles in the area of Valdivia, as well as the indigenous responses to new hierarchies and colonial warfare between the 16th and 18th centuries.

Cite this Record

Colonial Borderlands and Conflicting Landscapes in Colonial Chile. Beatriz Marin-Aguilera. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451856)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -77.695; min lat: -55.279 ; max long: -47.813; max lat: -25.642 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23161