“Hilando en la memoria”: First Anthology of Poetry by Mapuche Women Poets


The publication of the first anthology of Mapuche women poets, Hilando en la memoria (2006) and the successive Hilando en la memoria, Epu rupa (2009), are part of a longstanding and fruitful collaboration among Mapuche women poets and the non-governmental organization ESE:O, launched in November 2006 with the first “Meeting with Mapuche Women Poets” in Santiago, Chile.

The objective of this project is to create a collective and permanent space of contact between poets and universities — a multimedia, trans-generational and socially-integrated space that includes the political dimensions of Mapuche poetry written by women. This initiative responds to the need to generate spaces of poetry written by Mapuche women that are broader, self-reflective and flexible, in order to discuss memory, translation, the body and poetry as written forms of resistance. The publication of two anthologies has succeeded in challenging the national Chilean imaginary and confronting a public space that is marked by discrimination and the effacement of Mapuche voices.

The “Meetings with Mapuche Women Poets” work directly on cultural memory, and specifically the cultural memory of Mapuche women poets and cultural leaders. The theme of gender is especially relevant in relation to the systematic exclusion of Mapuche women from the Chilean public sphere and the problematic relationship between women and lettered culture. The cross between Mapuche oral tradition and women’s culture allows us access to a reality that exceeds the text: orality, corporeal performance and its link to memory.

This is a unique initiative, not only because it is the first to spring from a meta-poetic and political understanding among and with these women poets, but also because it has launched a permanent collaboration between the Humanities Institute of Diego Portales University (www.udp.cl), ESE:O (www.eseo.cl) and the Cultural Center of Spain (www.ccespana.cl) on the role of women in the public arena, and the use of academic space as a performative and political site.

The first “Meeting with Mapuche Women Poets” took place on October 2 and 3, 2006 in the Cultural Center of Spain, gathering poets, academics, students and others interested in Mapuche women’s poetry. On that occasion, the first Hilando en la memoria anthology was presented with the works of seven poets, accompanied by a poetry recital.

A second meeting in 2009 featured the launch of a second volume, Hilando en la Memoria, Epu rupa, which includes the poetry of 14 Mapuche women.


In the beginning stages of this project ESE:O co-adapted its methodology of online learning together with the women poets, working to find the best way to develop and sustain an ongoing, collaborative exchange.

The “Meeting with Mapuche Women Poets” project conducted discussion and work over a “virtual” campus (http://campus.eseo.cl) in order to carry out discussions and to plan and organize goals and activities, including the editing and preparation of publications on poetry, book launches, poetry readings, round table discussions and workshops for children. The internet platform facilitated logistical coordination and was an indispensable tool to produce and organize material for the publication of the anthologies.

The process was repeated in the preparation of “Hilando en la memoria, epu rupa,” fostering the process of organizing work through the exchanges in online forums between poets and editors to discuss topics such as “identity, names and generation,” “gender and the body,” “the oral, the visual and the word as a tool for struggle,” “land, city and exile” and “the Bicentennial and the Mapuche nation.” The forums provided spaces where all participants could express their ideas and opinions freely.

Seven Mapuche women poets are represented in the first edition of “Hilando la memoria” (2006) : Graciela Huinao; Adriana Paredes Pinda; Roxana Miranda Rupailaf; María Isabel Lara Millapán; Faumelisa Manquepillan; Maribel Mora Curriao and María Teresa Panchillo

Fourteen Mapuche women poets are represented in the second edition of Hilando en la memoria, Epu rupa (2009): María Isabel Lara Millapán; Graciela Huinao; Jacqueline Caniguan; Faumelisa Manquepillán; Roxana Miranda Rupailaf; María Huenuñir; Adriana Paredes Pinda; Karla Guaquin; Alejandra Llanquipichun; Eliana Pulquillanca; Jeanette del Carmen Huequemán; María Elisa Huinao; Juana Miriam Lancapichun and María Teresa Panchillo.


1. Publication of the first anthology of Mapuche women poets, Hilando en la memoria (2006), and in 2009, Hilando en la memoria, Epu rupa.

2. Creation of a longstanding and fruitful, national and international network of poets, activists and cultural leaders of nearly 8 years—a record for this type of multicultural endeavor.

3. Publications which feature our project and book launch in newspapers and websites, including La Nación, El Mercurio, La Tercera, Las Últimas Noticias, El Diario de Atacama, Siglo XXI, Chile.com, la Universidad Católica de Villarica, la Universidad de Diego Portales, “Meli Wixan Mapu” and “Cultura en Movimiento.”

4. Digital DVD recordings: “Meeting” on October 2, 2006; recordings of each poet reciting and performing their respective poetry from Hilando en la memoria; recordings of the “Meeting with Mapuche Women Poets” filmed and edited by FUCOA and aired by the international TVN (National Chilean Television); and “Adkintun,” interviews with each of the 7 poets, set outside of the city in selected localities.

5. National and International presentations in Santiago, Pudahuel, La Serena, Copiapó, Chañaral, Lota, Coronel, Purén, y Temuco, Chile; Paraguay; Ecuador; and the United States (Madison, Wisconsin; Los Angeles, Davis and Berkeley, California).

6. Diffusion of Mapuche women’s poetry in schools and universities throughout Chile and abroad.

7. Finally, this project has opened a space to share and disseminate Mapuche women’s poetry, thus creating a profound impact on the literary world. In 2012, co-editor of Hilando en la memoria, Epu rupa, Roxana Miranda Rupailaf, received the prestigious Municipal Prize in Literature in 2012 for her book of poetry, Shumpall, thereby entering her into the official literary canon and transforming the history of poetry in Chile.

Resources on the authors:

Faumelisa Manquepillán –
“Presagio” (http://vimeo.com/11302096)
“Paseo Ahumada” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smFk62QyMaQ)
Documentary Series, Mujeres Fuertes (http://www.tvn.cl/player/play/?id=650996)

Roxana Miranda Rupailaf –
Antología en Movimiento (http://vimeo.com/5979405)
Descentralización poética (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMqLMM9wBtM)
National Poetry Gathering in Talca (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0DR5oEsgL8)

Graciela Huinao –
“La vida y la muerte se hermanan” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRjwnAnBuL4)
Interview with Biblioredes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQdBmgNuhwI)

María Isabel Lara Millapán –
“Kinturayen” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sLpEcR1ucE)

María Huenuñir –
“María Huenuñir – Poeta Mapuche” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zd-dlGGAIIk)

ElianaPulquillanca –
“Humo” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4VfikjuW7c)

María Teresa Panchillo –
“Un niño” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLWuCe_7uh8)