This week’s infographic presents part of the Fondart 2016 project Araucanía en Palabras: un Nombre, un Lugar, una Historia (Araucanía: a Name, a Place, a History), led by ecologist and landscape architect Veronica Garate. The project’s objective is to demonstrate the value of the toponymic heritage of the Region of La Araucanía through the study and recognition of the names of the 32 localities of the region to highlight the relationship between the territory and the culture of each community.
According to the wikipedia, toponymy is the study of place names, their origins, their meanings, use, and typology (1). This study is based on methodologies of linguistic, historical and geographical analysis, among others, which verbalize an idea of the landscape or an event that was paramount within that place or community at the moment of being established as such. “Toponymy is part of the cultural heritage of our environment as a product of the history of a community and, as such, serves as a testimony of its evolution” (2).
(1) Toponymy: Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toponymy
(2) Extract from the application for Fondart Regional 2016 Araucanía en Palabras: un Nombre, un Lugar, una Historia (Araucanía in Words: a Name, a Place, a History) August 2015 [translated from Spanish]. The project was financed by the Regional Fondart 2016, through the Cultural Heritage line. Project Manager Verónica Garate Navarrete, Ecologist and Landscape Architect with Master’s in Urban Design. Illustrations, Paulina Morgan, Graphic Designer and Illustrator who holds a Master’s Degree in Design and Art Direction. Map Design, Dominique Bruneau, Architect with a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the meaning of place names has been written, generally, with emphasis on geographical landmarks. One example of this is the Glosario Etimológico (The Etymology Glossary) by P. Armengol Valenzuela from 1918, or the Diccionario Jeográfico de Chile (The Geographic Dictionary of Chile) [sic] by Luis Riso Patrón of 1924 (3). Taking this into account, this project focuses on the Region of La Araucanía, where the major presence of Mapudungun in its toponymy strengthens the idea of a native linguistic component (4).
(3) Pedro Armengol Valenzuela, Glosario Etimológico: de Nombres de Hombres, Animales, Plantas, Ríos y Lugares, y de Vocablos incorporados en el Lenguaje Vulgar, Aborígenes de Chile, y de algún otro país Americano (Etymology Dictionary: of Names of People, Animals, Plants, Rivers and Places, and of Vocabulary incorporated in Common Usage, Aborígenes of Chile, and some other American countries) Santiago: Imprenta Universitaria, 1918 and Luis Riso Patrón, Diccionario Geográfico de Chile (Geographic Dictionary of Chile) Santiago: Imprenta Universitaria, 1924.
(4) Mapuche Communication System. This is a language without writing, so its subsequent transcription originates in the phonetics interpreted by the listener. In <www.guiaverde.net/toponimia/>.
The Infographic titled Araucanía in Words: a Name, a Place, a History shows part of the illustrative means with which the project – financed by Regional Fondart 2016 through the line of Cultural Heritage led by ecologist and landscape architect Verónica Garate Navarrete – seeks to make known the relationship between the word and the landscape units as well as the story that exists behind that relationship. Specifically, the infographic shows the example of the town of Curacautín, or Meeting Stone in Mapudungun (5). On the one hand, the mapping of the names of the 32 communities of the region shows the major presence of words in Mapudungun compared to the communities with names of Spanish origin. On the other hand, the mapping seeks to represent the names of these communities with original illustrations by graphic designer and illustrator Paulina Morgan, which later will be part of a catalog for educational and tourism purposes.
(5) See Garate, Application Report (August 2015)