From Herders to Wage Laborers and Back Again: Engaging with Capitalism in the Atacama Puna Region of Northern Chile

Flora Vilches & Héctor Morales

Departamento de Antropología, Universidad de Chile, Av. Ignacio Carrera Pinto, 1045 Santiago,

Abstract. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, indigenous Atacameño society transited from an agro-pastoralist to a more diversified capitalist-based economy due to a growing mining industry in northern Chile. The puna herders engaged in the new capitalist order as wage laborers in sulfur mines and llareta (Azorella compacta) exploitation companies. In this article we show how indigenous knowledge acted as cultural capital that enabled the herders to work as laborers. This operation led to horizontal treatment among the different agents in the taskscape that those Bherder- laborers^ inhabited, including those incorporated by industrial capitalism.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10761-016-0386-x

Cite this article as: Héctor Morales Morgado, "From Herders to Wage Laborers and Back Again: Engaging with Capitalism in the Atacama Puna Region of Northern Chile," in LIA MINES ATACAMA, 30/09/2017, https://liamines.hypotheses.org/691.

Héctor Morales Morgado

Profesor carrera ordinaria Universidad de Chile, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales,Departamento de Antropología. Director de Posgrado. Coordinador del Núcleo de Estudios Étnico (RUNACO).

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