Documenting Mapudungun: Reflections on fieldwork practices during a pandemic year


Tuesday January 18, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm



Dr. Pablo Fuentes, Universidad Catolica de la Santisima Concepcion, Chile

Dr. Pablo Fuentes has developed a 10-hour documentation on Chedungun, a language variety of Mapudungun spoken by approximately 5,000 speakers along two river valleys in the Andean region of Alto Biobío, southcentral Chile. The collection has been made possible due to a close link with the local community, which includes native speaker and linguist Sonia Vita Manquepi. The deposit gathers audio-visual material of a typical journey through the pewenche summerlands (the Andean highlands that are occupied by the Pewenche families between the melting of snows and the arrival of winter). The project has been funded by the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme.

The arrival of the pandemic has put serious challenges to this project, all of which have been dealt in a responsible and reflective way by resident and non-resident members of the documentation team. Dr. Fuentes’ talk will reflect on the lessons to be learnt from the pandemic, especially with respect to the future of language documentation and the relevance of inclusive and self-managed fieldwork practices.


Free, all welcome. 

Image: Drawing with mud by pewenche children. Photo by Pablo Fuentes.