WOOCS 1.2.4
Silver jewels and symbols of nature...
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WOOCS 1.2.4

Mapuche silverware, the spirit of nature

An Andean myth tells that the sun and the moon were once a happy couple… One morning, the sun started to flirt with Venus, the morning star. Jelous and angry, the moon confronted the sun, and he pushed her so hard that she fell. Alone and heartbroken the moon cried. Her tears were so hot that turned into silver…  

It is said that from the tears of the moon, the sacred art of indigenous Mapuche silver art was born. Mapuche silverware reflects the spirit and cosmology of Mapuche culture, the only indigenous people in America that were never conquered by the Spanish.

At the heart of Mapuche culture a deep respect for nature is found. Nature is the source of inspiration for its language, the mapudungun, meaning the “voice of nature”.

Mapuche silverware, with over 500 ancestral designs, was a platform to share the wisdoms that had been transmitted orally throughout generations. Through its silver pieces, the rüxafe, Mapuche silversmith, crafted his world vision, the relationship of people, spirits and territory, that coexisted in the south of Chile.

Earrings, necklaces, rings and pendants became a sacred source of identity, connecting the people with the presence of the forefathers, the abundance of nature, the belonging to a family and a territory. With over 400 years of design, and almost becoming extinct in the 1900s, silverware has reborn in the XXI Century as an art of excelence in craftmanship and deep meaning, providing employment and cultural sustainability to artisans and communities in the south, rescuing a deep ancestral and cultural heritage.