It’s easy to think of Mapuche culture as being rooted in the past. The indigenous group native to Chile is known for artisan techniques such as silversmithing and weaving that date back all the way to 1300 AD.
But to keep the culture of this resilient people alive, artists are innovating on Mapuche traditions—that’s why we decided to expand our work to empowering Mapuche artists to make work that reflects their heritage.
Chilean recording artist Ana Tijoux is also using her platform to explore her Mapuche background. Born in France to Mapuche parents who fled Chile under the Pinochet regime, Tijoux moved back to Chile as a teenager and soon found success as a hip hop artist in Santiago.
Her group, Makiza, was a wildly popular Chilean rap group in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2006, Tijoux went solo, and since then her music has shifted more and more to reflect Mapuche culture.
Her “Somos Sur” is about resisting colonization and oppression in Chile and throughout the world. “Canelo Sagrado,” written for the 2015 documentary Genoveva, explores the challenges and discrimination that the Mapuche people face. She wears traditional Mapuche dress in the music video:
She’s been an outspoken advocate for the Mapuche people, speaking in interviews about the struggles they face and their ongoing resistance. She’s even been know to wave the Mapuche flag at her concerts.
Plus, she’s a supporter of women’s rights, sharing her empowering “Sacar La Voz (Raise Your Voice)” for a campaign to support the Half the Sky Movement for women around the world.
We love Tijoux because her work is at the intersection of two causes close to our hearts: preserving the culture of the Mapuche people and empowering women to tell their stories through art.