Gaiman Tehuelche-Mapuche Museum

The ethnographic museum is the place to learn about the population of Patagonia, its development, the arrival of the Welsh and the relationships that were founded.

Many of the typical constructions of Gaiman have become a cultural heritage and represent the idiosyncrasy of a town from afar and its links with the Argentine Patagonia. One of those buildings dates from 1910, one of the first two-story buildings that belonged to the family of Richard Nichols, a relevant character in the cultural events of Gaiman . Today is the Tehuelche-Mapuche Museum .

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In 1997, at the initiative of the Ameghino de Viedma Foundation, created by scientist and historian Rodolfo Casamiquela, the donation of the house was formalized to create the Gaiman Anthropological Museum . The scientist turned all his experience, collection and studies on the original peoples in this space. Therefore, the site became the cultural reference to know the interaction of the newly arrived Welsh and the communities that already inhabited the region.

Dr. Casamiquela encouraged the recognition of the Tehuelches as a native people of northern Patagonia. His vast regional research explains the origins and expressions of Tehuelche culture. On the other hand, the teacher named Doctor Honoris Causa affirmed that the Mapuches had crossed the border and were not entirely from the Argentine Patagonia . This position, often emboldened by his personality, cost him several criticisms in front of the Mapuche community, especially when thinking about towns that existed before establishing the boundaries between Chile and Argentina.

  • Gaiman Tehuelche-Mapuche Museum

    Gaiman Tehuelche-Mapuche Museum

  • Gaiman Tehuelche-Mapuche Museum

    Gaiman Tehuelche-Mapuche Museum

  • Gaiman Tehuelche-Mapuche Museum

    Gaiman Tehuelche-Mapuche Museum

  • Gaiman Tehuelche-Mapuche Museum

    Gaiman Tehuelche-Mapuche Museum

  • Gaiman Tehuelche-Mapuche Museum

    Gaiman Tehuelche-Mapuche Museum

  • Gaiman Tehuelche-Mapuche Museum

    Gaiman Tehuelche-Mapuche Museum

Beyond this, his work on the settlement of Patagonia is very extensive and part of it can be known in the Gaiman Anthropological Museum .

The name "Gaiman" means whetstone. It is a Tehuelche name and somehow marks the communion that existed with the original peoples. After a first distrustful encounter between the two cultures, little time passed to understand that they could live together peacefully and lead a beneficial and camaraderie relationship for both parties. A complementary economy and mutual education were ingredients of a fruitful relationship with close ties. Welsh colonization was one of the few that can be understood as peaceful.

Newcomers saw their "brothers in the desert" in the Tehuelches. Thanks to them they were able to survive in an unknown and hostile territory and get ahead with the deed that involved their own identity. As thanks, they tried to intercede for the original peoples before the government when the Conquest of the Desert, but they also remained under the dominions of an overwhelming State.

Today, the cultural house popularly known as Tehuelche-Mapuche Museum has technical-educational material to discover a reference light on the history of native peoples, their daily lives and their relationship with the Welsh colony that he found a place to found a new Wales beyond Wales , as invited by the preacher Michael Daniel Jones in the 1860s, considered one of the precursors of Welsh nationalism.

Miriam Coronel

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