|A History of Dreamwork in Chile|
DREAMS OF THE MAPUCHES
In communities related to the ethnic group of the Mapuches, in the southlands of Chile and Argentina, dreams have always held an important position.
The Mapuches (People of the Earth) form a peculiar society. Facially, of Oriental character, they speak a rather compressed language, mapudungun, and their clothes and ornaments are similar to those of the inhabitants of the Tibetan lands.
The cosmovision of the Mapuches is similar to many other pre-Columbus societies from South America. The difference is that they share a common language, along a vast territory. Traditions, however, have been passed orally from one generation to the next. The first work on the grammar of the mapudungun language, done by a Jesuit priest, was published only in 1606.
From remote times, this culture has considered dreams as a path to follow in their lives. It could be health problems, warnings, or advice for all kinds of issues. The Mapuches have a complete philosophy of life based on the oneiric wisdom found on dreams.
In the everyday life of this culture, it is usual that each person will seek and see on his/her dreams for premonitions concerning present or future events. It also concerns the past when, on the dream, or pewma, images of relatives or friends that have died appear. In spite of the fact that it is an everyday issue, the pewma requires a certain knowledge for its interpretation. Nowadays, it is the machi, a sort of priest, wizard, physician and a shaman, generally a woman, who has this mission.
The machi is versed on the active principles of medicinal plants and, furthermore, interprets dreams.
Before the proclamation of the State of Chile, in 1810, the Mapuches based their decisions, either collective or individual, on the messages that their dreams brought along.
The Mapuches believe that he/she who dreams is not the person, but rather his/her spirit (or pullu). In this culture, the tradition of all elements of nature are underlined: sea, river, mountain, thunder, lightning, fire, earth, all have their own symbolism. Animals are important as well. They also believe (as in the Perls theory) that each and every element of the dream is an important part of themselves. If dreams are good, then they must not be told. The belief is that the envy from of the ones who hear it would make it unfeasible. If dreams, however, are bad or nightmares, they should be told around a bonfire, because the fire with the smoke will take them away, thus expelling the evil spirit that sent the dream).
When a person has a lucid dream, it means that the spirit of the dreamer is strong. When the dream is about being cheated by a couple, it means the dreamer's spirit if full of jealousy. Dreams about deceased relatives, on the other hand, mean that their spirit is claiming flowers and candles. In this case, a gift must be offered (depending on the dream cardinal points) and the spirit should be talked to, so that he leaves in peace.
In the Mapuche culture, as in many others, dreaming with snakes has different meanings that vary with the context in which they emerge. Dreaming with trees means longevity; with dogs, disease; with lions, strength; with mountains, ascending spiritually (or in work); with bulls, rage or envy. Dreaming with crystal clear water is a sign that the person is doing well, but with troubled, unclear water is a negative sign.
The majority of the Mapuche community members continue to preserve the traditions of the elders. However, during recent years there has been increasing interest in rescuing, conserving and promoting the Mapuche culture by several organizations. According to a census by the CONADI (National Council for Indian Development) 2,200 Mapuche communities are registered throughout national territory. In the municipal district of La Pintana, in Santiago, Chile, a child care center called Kipai Antu was created, having as several of its main goals the teaching of mapudungun as a second language. Another goal is to pay attention to and talk about dreaming. Mapuche communities exist in some neighborhoods in the capital of Chile, where people preserve their language, culture, religion and beliefs.
Worth mentioning is the celebration of the New Year or Wetripantu, held during the southern hemisphere's winter solstice. It is an important festivity, where requests for good crops are made and, along with chants and dances to their typical instruments, special meals are prepared while women wear their best outfits that include handcrafted silver jewelry. Among the most important beliefs of the Mapuche people is the healing through medicinal plants and the importance of dreams for waking life.
We hope this ethnic group may continue with their belief in dreams, since they seem to be an emotionally and psychologically healthy people.
Cultura Mapuche, Carlos Aldunate Del Solar, Serie Patrimonio Cutural Chileno Serie Cultura Aborigenes, Ministerio de Educacion, Chile 1986
Historia del Pueblo Mapuche, Siglos XIX / XX, Jose Bengoa, Coleccion Estudios Historicos Editorial Sur, Chile 1985, Serie Cultura Aborigenes, Ministerio de Educacion, Chile 1986
Vision de las Comunidades Mapuche. Eugenio Alcantara, Boletin Indigenista de Chile, Numero 1, Chile 1981
Los Sueños El Espejo del Alma, Rosa Anwandter, Ed. Platero, Santiago,
Even though the "mapuches "are the largest indigenous group in Chile,
there are other ethnic groups that also have an important oneiric
tradition in this country.
In the middle of the XX century, the pioneer in using dreams with patients, was Ignacio Matte Blanco, M. D. a Professor of Psichiatry and researcher at the Universidad de Chile.
However, who came to change all the previous beliefs on dreaming, was Lola Hoffmann (Helena Jacoby Hoffmannn M.D.) a Lithuanian born phyisiologist settled in Chile since 1940.
Lola Hoffmann was a disciple of Carl G. Jung, and later she studied with Jolande Jacoby at the Jung Institute in Zurich
She started treating her patients with the theories of Jung in the early sixties in Santiago, Chile.
She made great changes in the field of dreaming teaching those theories to a number of people. She died in 1988 at the age of 84 and until now, her followers think about the knowledge she left as a legacy of love and wisdom for future generations.
|Dream Research in Chile|
Centro de Estudios Oniricos de Chile
Av. Los Leones 2835. Postal Code 800-362234
Casilla 34-9- Providencia. R.M
Universidad de Chile
Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Universidad de Valpararaiso
Dirección del Trabajo de la Republica de Chile
|Dream Groups in Chile|
Rosa Anwandter, M.A.
Every Thursday from 19.30 to 10 PM
Spanish, Portuguese,English, French and German speaking
Dr. P. L Ferrer 3029/ 504. R.M Santiago, Chile
Visitors are welcome with previous appointment.
|Dream Workers in Chile|
Dreamworkers in Chile (sorted alphabetically)
My name is Rosa Anwandter. M.A.
©2005 Association for the Study of Dreams. All Rights Reserved