Hip-hop Mapuche on the Araucanian Frontera
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Publisher:Ohio State University. Center for Latin American Studies
Citation:alter/nativas, latin american cultural studies journal, no. 2 (Spring 2014)
This article analyzes musical activism in Araucanía, a centuries-old frontera (borderland), where physical and symbolic exchange between the Mapuche and other civilizations has long characterized social and cultural life. Discord over natural resources and social organization produces a resonant frequency of political distrust in the region. Mapuche rappers, Jano Weichafe, Danko Marimán, and Fabian Marin, freestyle on this frequency, articulating hip-hop concepts such as “underground” together with local preexisting forms of expression and resistance. Hip-hop also vividly portrays the conditions of life in Araucanía’s interethnic poblaciones (urban neighborhoods). Based on interviews and performances, I describe how groups of inner-city youth, as well as Mapuche organizations, have utilized hip-hop to foment indigenous ceremonies in urban environments, and to involve at-risk kids in constructive activities. Finally, I analyze Jano Weichafe’s fusion rock/cumbia/hip-hop song, “Ñi Pullu Weichafe” (Warrior Spirit), which, as the artist explains, “awakens consciousness” through performed solidarity with Chilean rockers, La Mano Ajena.
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