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Photographs, shadows, wraith II.

Abstract in spanish

Photography has been a faithful companion to the efforts of ethnographers since the very beginning of the discipline. One of the most important people who worked in Chile, Martín Gusinde, made such a central use of photography that the Selk'nam called him mankacen, the shadow hunter, because they considered the images appearing in the photographs to be the shadows of their ancestors.

For Gusinde, photography was not a tool for recording contemporary selknam, already irremediable and tragically transformed by "civilization" but a silent witness to the ethnographic effort to look for them in a world of absences and to find them in a yesterday always hypothetical. The images of Ventura Tenenesk are an example of Gusinde’s message.

Keywords: photography,selknam,civilization,Martin Gusinde.
Author: Daniel Quiroz. Etnógrafo, Director del Centro de Documentación de Bienes Patrimoniales, Dirección de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos.
Received: January 05th, 2001, Accepted: July 01th, 2001
Revista Chilena de Antropología Visual - número 1 - Santiago, julio 2001 - 28/34 pp. - ISSN 0718-876x. Rev. chil. antropol. vis.