Mapuche handicrafts trading: Production of sense and socio-cultural reproduction


The aim of this article is to study the characteristics and the dynamics of different ways of trade of handicrafts used by the producers belonging to the Mapuche communities in Lacar and Huiliches Departments in the Province of Neuquen, Argentina. The trade of handicrafts is of vital importance for the inhabitants of these areas of this Patagonian province. Direct selling to tourists, sales in organized events such as fairs and meetings, the commercialization through downtown shops, and the in situ purchase made by different intermediaries constitute different alternatives to the commercialization made by the state agency Artesanías Nequinas (Handicrafts from Neuquen according to its name in Spanish). These scenarios, in which the sale of handicrafts is developed, are linked to the reproduction of producers and contribute to set different identity expressions, constituting spaces for production of senses, both from Mapuche communities (sellers) and from the Winkas community (consumers).

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