Melinir Family, Comunidad Quinquen
Quinquen is a renowned community of indigenous Pewenche people— literally, the people of the pewen tree or araucaria.
Quinquen is a renowned community of indigenous Pewenche people— literally, the people of the pewen tree or araucaria. The community is located near Lonquimay in Southern Chile. Quinquen pioneered indigenous land claims and led the declaration of the araucaria tree as natural monument during the Pinochet dictatorship in the 1980s. Thanks to the advocacy work and activism led by the Melinir family, Quinquen Community ensured the protection of the araucaria tree, whose felling and exploitation is now banned in Chile. In addition, and after a long and tumultuous process, this community obtained legal title over their ancestral lands, one of the first major legal and political victories for the Mapuche-Pewenche in post-dictatorship Chile. Quinquen community are now pioneers in sustainable indigenous tourism in the region. Their work helps local guardians disseminate an invaluable cultural and historical heritage. Quinquén is a territory of remarkable landscapes characterised by an extraordinary native forest of araucarias, lengas and other species of high flora Andes that cover 90% of the entire territory. Ricardo Meliñir is the chief of the community (lonko), a role he inherited from his father. His ancestors left Ricardo the Mapuche language (Mapudungun) and gave him knowledge that is still transmitted to him through dreams (pewma), which he uses to guide his community and defend the araucaria tree or pewen.
Traditional Forest Culture: Guardians of the Forest. Bioregion: Austral Forest (Chile, New Zealand, Australia).
Wednesday 16th June 2021