A machi, or medicine woman, Araucania, Chile.

[19th century]
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A machi, or medicine woman, Araucania, Chile. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark. Source: Wellcome Collection.

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About this work

Also known as

Previous title, replaced February 2022: A shaman or medicine woman, Araucania, Chile. Halftone after E. Stockins.


"A female 'machi' stands on a 'rewe', a seven-stepped pillared altar used by the Mapuche, indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina. Machis are healers and religious leaders, who possess detailed knowledge of medicinal herbs and remedies and the power to connect with spirits. A rewe is the Mapuche representation of the 'Axis mundis' [sic] or cosmic tree, which connects a machi to the Earth's celestial poles and allows them to gather allied spirits and information to heal"--Patricia Domínguez, Vegatal matrix, 2021, London: Wellcome Collection, 2022, p. 27


[19th century]

Physical description

1 print : halftone ; image 14.4 x 7.5 cm


A witch-doctor of Araucania. By permission of the South American Missionary Society.


This work is untitled: the title has been supplied by the cataloguer.
Published in H.H., Hutchinson, H. N., Gregory, J. W., & Lydekker, R. (Eds.). (1901). The living races of mankind: a popular illustrated account of the customs, habits, pursuits, feasts & ceremonies of the races of mankind throughout the world (Vol. 2). Hutchinson & Co., page 567


Wellcome Collection 21494i

Creator/production credits

Photograph formerly attributed to Walter Stockins, called Edmundo Stockins (1903-1995)


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