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Low And High Tech Collision To Help Preserve Chilean Mapuche Tribe

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It is quite hard to believe how far the technology has come. QR Code technology has come from being used to identify car parts to being plastered on fishes and bananas. It has been quite a journey and right now, there are simply popping up all over the place regardless of country or region.

It has caught the attention of many mobile marketers and advertising agencies, not to mention artistes and artists too. The latest development sees a Chilean artist, Guillermo Bert, making use of the technology to promote and preserve the identity, culture and traditions of Chile’s largest indigenous groups called Mapuche.

The Mapuche have fought tediously against intruders, locals and foreigns alike, for centuries. Just 300 years ago, it was said that the group had to fend of threat of intrusion by the Spaniards, after which an agreement was signed which secured their autonomy in the area. After enjoying peace for a couple of years, after Chile managed to fight off Spain, once again, there was bloodshed and oppression against the Mapuche tribe of people.

As you can see, they are truly serious and would go very far to protect their identity and culture. With QR Codes involved, it would seem like such an odd idea – protecting and promoting an age-old culture with modern technology. While some may argue that it isn’t quite the way to go, I agree that the only way to get modern folks like you and me who are working hard everyday just to put bread on the table to take notice and respect their right to their land and tradition is to use tools that we are using.

The QR Code that Bert was promoting leads to a beautiful poem written by a Mapuche poet named Graciela Huinao and the whole purpose is to promote a project called ‘Encoded Textiles’.

Bert is passionate about keeping the Mapuche’s way of life relevant in today’s fast-changing society. He was also concerned about the disappearing language as more people moved lived an urban way of life. So, what he have done is to capture stories and tales from Mapuche writer, healers, leaders and artisans and had them encoded. Mapuche women are good with weaving so, they wave the QR Codes out which can then be scanned with a smartphone.

With the hybrid of very low and high tech methods, it creates a very hybrid promotional method.

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