Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Chile before Chile


These remarkable wooden statues were placed on top of tombs in ancient Mapuche cemeteries. They reflect the spirit (am) of those buried there and are intended to assist them in their journey to the afterlife. Chiefs and great warriors were sent to the East after death, to roam among the volcanoes of Kalfumapu, the “blue land.” All others went to the West, to eat bitter potatoes beyond the sea.