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Antropología Social y Cultural del Uruguay

On-line version ISSN 1510-3846


ARCE ASENJO, Darío. Native ethnonyms in Uruguayan historiography: disassembling pieces from different puzzles. Antropol. soc. cult. Urug. [online]. 2015, vol.13, pp.23-34. ISSN 1510-3846.

The wide variety of ethnonyms used to name the pre-Solis peoples (those living there previous to J. Diaz de Solis landing, 1516) at the present Uruguayan territory has being and still is, subject to different ethno-historical controversies. The ethnonym inventory arises from different contexts driving to a polysemic confusion that generates chronologies subject to ideological (de-)formations, both at the original sources and on the studies based on them. Based on an analysis of Jakobson’s communication theory, we’ll demonstrate the subject’s complexity and we propose, according to the production context, a diachronic categorization of the corpus of ethnonyms in three different stages. The savage native, the frontier native and the national native, being this last one mainly extemporaneous to the sources. Our aim is not to provide a new ethnic cartography but a tool using critical sense when it comes to use imprecise and relative terms

Keywords : ethnonyms; chronologies; natives; history; Uruguay.

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