The ‘idea’ of Mapuche: representations of the indigenous people in Juan Ignacio Molina’s patriotic discourse
Parole chiave:Mapuche, colonial Chile, early modern history, Iberian world, natural history
Many authors, in the early modern era, speculated on the origins of the indigenous people in the Americas. The article analyses the discourses by which Juan Ignacio Molina (1740-1829) depicts Mapuche, which constitutes a fragment of the ‘idea’ of the natives widespread in Europe. By focusing on the theories about their Western ancestry, language, and status of development, the study contributes to framing the representation of such groups and deconstructs the milieu in which these ideas have been produced.