This book shows how, even in changing social and cultural conditions, traditional notions of religious morality are integral parts of social structure. The work specifically examines the Mapuche Indians of Chile, who have maintained an undeniable cultural consciousness over long years of contact with European Chileans.
Southern central Chile supports one of the largest functioning indigenous societies in South America, the Mapuche, who have withstood more than four hundred years of persistent efforts at colonization and missionization. In spite of inevitable cultural and social change during those years, they have maintained a great measure of cultural and social integrity, and remain a regional, ethically conscious minority in Chile.
The Mapuche, in their own words, are “another race,” with their own gods, their own notions of right and wrong, their own symbolism. Abiding by the rules of their society ensures their eternal place among the hawks of the sun.