Mapuche Culture.

may 2006
Declaration of the Lof Ragiñtulewfu for the transgression in a Mapuche sacred ceremony.
Translation: Sandra Sanmartin Mellado

Declaration of the Lof Ragiñtulewfu for the transgression in a Mapuche sacred ceremony.
Press conference in support to the Machi German Catrilef Curiche, Lof Mapu Ragiñtulewfu, Nueva Imperial Commune, PuelMapu, Chile.

Temuco May 23rd, 2006.
Present are; Machi German Catrilaf Curiche, who belongs to the Lof Mapu Ragiñtulewfu, Nueva Imperial Commune, we also are present here Lamnien Maria Ercilia Catrilaf Curiche, Bernardino Curiche Melillán, Eleazer Patricio Catrilaf Curiche, Carlos Tragolaf Ancalaf who are part of their family environment and also do diverse functions supporting the cultural, spiritual and medicinal work that the Machi develops in benefit to the people, community and Mapuche society in general; people representing the Mapuche university students shelter in Temuco; Mapuche and no Mapuche social organizations, between others participants and who speaks Gabriela Tragolaf Ancalaf, are here in press conference to denounce in public the facts that since a while have caused a conflict with serious consequences like physical, emotional, spiritual and familiar to the Machi, the sociocultural balance as much as the spiritual of the Lof Rgiñtulewfu and the Mapuche people.

Its necessary to say that historically since immemorial times and even that 500 years have passed since the invasion in our territory, first Spain then the Chilean state, exist as a cultural norm to respect the Mapuche Rakizuam(the Knowledge of Mapuche) which means that in our practices like cultural, social, productive, medicinal and spiritual we made diverse rituals and ceremonies that allow us the communication with the spiritual and divine world that leads our Mapuche World ( Wajotun Mapu).that’s why in this events, as well, participates different authorities like the Lonko, Machi, Zugumachife, Werken, among others, which act like guides for the different members of the community or Lof Mapu and they also communicate the life of the Nag Mapu where the spirits of the ancestors and our divinity Wenu Mapu Kushe-Wenu Mapu Fücha.

The main conflict came up on February 8th 2006, during a ceremony called Eluwun, that in our culture has a profound meaning because is the farewell of a deceased and in this specific case, of the Ñizol Lonko Juan Segundo Huenchulaf Mellico, who now rest in peace. In the event participate an important number of families of the community, as also people Mapuche and no Mapuche from other Lof Mapu and near places and from cities like Temuco, Imperial and a foreigner inclusive.

During the Eluwun, one of the restrictions established from the beginning as part of the protocol was to not take any audiovisual register, photographic or recordings of any kind to the activities specially guided by the Machi and his family, and to the space where the rests of the deceased were. In this sense, the norm was told out loud and was extensive for all the people present.

Despite the above mentioned, while the Amül Püllü was in progress, this mean the central part of the ceremony when we say our last farewell to the spirit of the deceased, two persons that earlier where welcomed to the event; Mr. Pablo Truchero Cuevas who identifies himself as an Spanish citizen and Alejandro Toro Huentecura, who at the moment was functionary of the National Direction of CONADI, were caught taking photograph registers of the Machi and his work, and also of the family that was part of the ritual, provoking in the same instant the spiritual weakening of the Machi, situation that result in the anticipated end of the activity, with the rupture of the spiritual and sociocultural protocol that prevail in solemn activities like this one in our Mapuche culture.

In concern to the situation we described, Mr. Pablo Truchero Cuevas and Alejandro Toro Huentecura at the moment of being caught untill now, had never recognized the damaged caused, at the contrary, they file a lawsuit in Court (Tribunal de Garantias) in February 2006, arguing the steal of the camera , against the ZuguMachife (Machi`s assistant) Eleazer Catrilaf Curiche and the Tayülfe Placido Catrilaf Curiche, all of them with domiciliary arrest so they can develop their activities in a normal way not in a family level nor the community benefit, and also they have to go every month to sign at the Court.

In this sense, we also denounce the unethical conduct of the Fiscal Claudia Turra Lagos, who while the cause against the ZuguMachife and the Tayülfe were in progress, took part in an evident way in favor on the defense of Pablo Truchero Cuevas, a fact that shows the lack of impartiality and transparence in their proceed, situation that demonstrate the ignorance and deny not only by the Chilean justice representatives to the people, traditional authorities, communities and the ancestral knowledge of the Mapuche, but also we saw that this reality is expressed each day in the behavior of public organism and representatives of different areas of the society majority and, from our point of view, take place in the relation of domination-deny that historically representatives from the state organism and society have exerted to our Mapuche people.

Like we said, the action of taking pictures affects not only to the spiritual rites but also caused an imbalance to the Machi, who now can’t develop his medicinal practice affecting directly to the community and the consequence against his exercise of the Mapuche Lawentuwn who acted in benefit of many patient that came to see him to treat different health problems, also the delay in many planning and develop stages of rituals previous to the ceremony We Txipantu (the rise of the new sun, or Mapuche new year) altering in a serious way the preparation of a future Ngillatun (beg ceremony) that will take place in the community and the most serious is the risk that the Machi will be prostrated in bed with danger of die if by external or internal to the Lof Mapu motives occurs a delay in the application of improvements to the grave problems, from the Mapuche rakizuam (knowledge).

The consequences, before mentioned, plus represent a huge moral and economic damage, that’s affects not only the Machi, also the members of the family and the socio spiritual authorities, in fact they affect the entire community, interrupt the natural process of coexistence between Mapuche and all the elements that constitute the Mapuche universe and in short, increase the imbalance between life and development of all our society.

For this reasons, we make public the decision that the Machi German Catrilaf Curiche made, this is file a lawsuit for slander, also for moral, physical, spiritual and economic damages suffered affecting himself and his work against Mr. Pablo Truchero Cuevas and Alejandro Toro Huentecura. This process has been done with the support of Mapuche authorities from the Lof Ragiñtulewfu, diverse authorities such as Machi, Lonko, ZuguMachife, Werken, among others, from near communities and social organizations, university students and friends.

The judicial process was made on May 15th 2006 at the Guarantee Court in Nueva Imperial.

Finally, we express that the serious facts occurred in February 8th inside of the aforementioned community and the posterior consequences already described in this document, with the participation of a foreign citizen and a CONADI member (who also have Mapuche origin), from our perspective, leaves in evidence the impertinent, arrogant, and disrespectful conduct from these two people in front of a sacred ceremony, to the traditional authorities that guided the ceremony, to the Lof Mapu Ragiñtulewfu and the Mapuche society in general and by that shows their lack of commitment in the strengthening, development and validation of our Mapuche culture.

With this declaration, we want to express our public contempt to the constant abuse caused by the impertinent and violent conduct from representatives of the wingka(no Mapuche) society majority, that’s affect people, traditional authorities, communities and organizations of our Mapuche population, and also we make a call to every life force Mapuche and no Mapuche, to public organism, to the national society and the international community, to end this form of abuse and be alert to denounce any kind of act that denotes and pass over our life as People (Nation).

If one falls ten will rise up, ten times we will overcome.