Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Mapuche equestrian culture and textile art

The horse transformed Mapuche society, increasing mobility incredibly and becoming the primary combat weapon and trade good. Horses were a major source of wealth and their meat was preferred by many. When an owner died, his horses were laid to rest with him. Mapuches displayed their status and wealth with silver saddle ornaments and unique multicoloured saddle blankets, called chañuntuku, woven by their spouses.

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Mapuche textile art

Man’s poncho Lana Mapuche MCHAP, 1720

Mapuche textile art

Horse saddle blanket Mapuche MCHAP, 1694