An Expedition to the Ranquel Indians

[ Latin American Studies ]

An Expedition to the Ranquel Indians

Excursion a los indios ranqueles

By Lucio V. Mansilla

Translated by Mark McCaffrey

A vivid, firsthand account of a noncombative encounter between Native American and European civilizations.

1997

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Paperback

6 x 9 | 430 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-75203-0

The encounter between Native American peoples and Europeans and their descendants has marked the history of every nation in the Americas, both North and South. Lucio Mansilla's Una excursión a los indios ranqueles, published in Argentina in 1870, is one of very few works in American letters that presents a vivid, firsthand account of a noncombative encounter between Native American and European civilizations.

This volume is the first English translation of Mansilla's classic work. Long noted for its humor, adventurousness, and narrative ingenuity, the book offers penetrating insights into fundamental issues of "civilization and barbarism," immigration, ethnic and racial diversity, and land ownership and tenancy.

Mansilla alone among his contemporaries espoused open dialogue as the best approach to the "Indian problem." Although the peace accord he sought to enact with the Ranquels was summarily disregarded by the Argentine government, which slowly gravitated towards a policy of ethnic cleansing and expropriation of Indian lands, the Expedition does narrate a rehearsal for a reconciliation that in the end never took place.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Note to the Translation
An Expedition to the Ranquel Indians
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Epilogue
Notes
Glossary
Select Bibliography
Index

Lucio V. Mansilla (1831–1913), a colonel in the Argentine army, was a diarist and essayist who dealt with the political problem of assimilating indigenous people. Translator Mark McCaffrey holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.

"One of the great classics of nineteenth-century Argentine prose, ranking perhaps only behind Sarmiento's Facundo."

—David William Foster, Regents' Professor of Spanish and Women's Studies, Arizona State University