Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Chile before Chile

Women, weaving and the social fabric

The austerity of Mapuche women’s black dresses is broken up by the colourful trariwes (belts) worn around their waists, which are adorned with symbols relating to women, nature and spirituality. Mapuche tradition required women to marry men from another community and to live with their in-laws. These unions forged kinship bonds between different communities, with women serving as the link and the nucleus of the entire Mapuche nation.