Una Excursion A Los Indios Ranqueles

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libro Una Excursion A Los Indios Ranqueles

One of the great classics of nineteenth-century Argentine prose, and one of the finest and subtlest books ever written on an American frontier ?both North and South?, Lucio V. Mansilla?s ?Una excursion?? was first published in Argentina in 1870 and is one of very few works in American letters that presents a vivid, firsthand account of a noncombative encounter between Native American and European civilizations.Long noted for its humor and narrative ingenuity, the book, as Sarmientos Facundo, offers penetrating insights into fundamental issues of civilization and barbarism, immigration, ethnic diversity, and land ownership. Dictator Juan Manuel de Rosas had dominated most of Argentina from 1829 to 1852 and though having led successful military expeditions against the frontier Indians, the situation of the ?indian issue? after his demise was far from peaceful. In 1869, just after a peace treaty had been signed Mansilla is sent out for a reconnaissance into the tense border region.Colonel Mansilla, widely traveled and cultured aristocrat ?and Rosas?s nephew, by the way?, was an exception among his contemporaries, as he advocated for an open dialogue as best approach to the Indian problem?. In the end the peace accord he sought to enact with the Ranquels was summarily disregarded by the Argentine government, which slowly gravitated towards a policy of ethnic cleansing and expropriation of Indian lands. During this expedition Mansilla sent letters which were serially published in a leading Buenos Aires newspaper. His careful observations offer valuable ethnographic data, as Argentina?s Indians were almost totally extinguished or assimilated soon after.


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