Llanquitruz and the Mapuche-Tehuelche “war machine”: continuities and discontinuities in the Patagonian indigenous geopolitics (1850-1880)

Julio Esteban Vezub


In order to elucidate the metamorphosis of the Mapuche-Tehuelche chiefdoms in Northern Patagonia between 1850 and 1880, this paper compares the corpuses of correspondence written in Spanish by cousins Llanquitruz and Saygüeque with the assistance of their secretaries, during critical times in their respective chiefdoms. The author explores the qualitative changes between each political structure, proposing a review of the trope of the “war machine”, a concept developed by Deleuze and Guattari, useful to reason upon the nomadic strategies and their ambivalence in relation to power. The article recalls this metonymy to analyze the dynamics of negotiation and conflict between these chiefdoms and the emerging state of Argentina. It also recognizes the Mapuche-Tehuelche representations of the structures of power and kinship, territory and geopolitics, by focusing on texts produced by indigenous people.


Nation-state; Chiefdoms; Borderlands; Patagonia; 19th century

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1984-3356.2011v4n8p645

Londrina/PR - Brasil
ISSN: 1984-3356