Mapudungun poetry by María Inés Huenuñir Antihuala


Great news! We are organizing our first-ever media skills workshop for speakers of Latin American endangered languages. It will take place in Chile in January 2013. One our invited participants is language activist María Inés Huenuñir Antihuala (pictured above, on the left).

Maria is a Mapuche teacher and poet who writes beautiful bilingual poetry in Mapudungun and Spanish. Here is an example of one of her bilingual poems, “Mapuche Domo” with the English translation by Living Tongues researcher Anna Luisa Daigneault. If you are a Mapudungun or Spanish speaker and see ways to improve the English translation, please leave us a comment. Thanks! A video recording of the poem can also be viewed below.


Weñankley kiñe domo,
kiñe Mapuche ñuke,
kisu ka lelikeyantu
lelikey ximiñ pun
tukunefi, kisu ñi kupam meu
welu kume tukukey.
Ñi xapelakucha kañi xariloyko
amun rellmu felekey ñi chape
ka kiñe kelu xariwe tukunekey,
pa yomillkey ñi age yewekelu.
Wellu kume kidaukey
cheu ñi amun amukey
kisu ni sungu yengu
Mapuche ñuke.
Amun manke reke feleaimi
fey ta yewekelay ñi kurigen
kume uxapralekey wente escudo mev
eimi niemi kume piuke.
kume molfiñ
poyeneimi kom mi puke puñeñ
amuaimi emi mi lelfiñ mev
kiñe koskilla rayen elumeaimi
chaltumai ñuke.


Triste suspira una mujer,
es una mujer Mapuche,
ella también puede ver,
luz de día, oscuridad de noche.
La oscuridad se asemeja
a lo oscuro de su ropa
y aunque triste ella maneja,
sus lindas joyas de plata.
Cintas de colores, en sus trenzas,
lleva una roja faja también
ya ¡No quiere más ofensas!
ella trabaja muy bien.
Se acompleja por su piel oscura,
se siente falta de comprensión,
pero quiere defender su cultura,
llevar su costumbre por tradición.
Mujer Mapuche, ¡has como el condor!
él, pese a su plumaje oscuro
se siente feliz y con gran honor,
orgulloso se luce sobre el escudo.
Tú tienes corazón sincero y tierno
que rebosa de sangre pura,
mujer de cariño eterno…
proteges a tus hijos con gran ternura.
Amada madre ¡no te sientas mal!
vive tranquila, con serenidad
allá, siempre cerca de lo natural,
te daré un copihue, gracias a tu bondad


The sad sigh of a woman,
she is a Mapuche woman.
She can see both
the light of day, the dark of night.
The darkness blends
with the dark color of her clothes.
Although she is sad, she proudly wears
her beautiful silver jewelry.
Laces of all colors, in her braids,
she wears a red belt as well.
She wants no more insults!
She works so hard.
Troubled by her dark skin,
No one understands her.
But she wants to defend her culture,
Carry on with her traditional customs.
Mapuche woman, be like the condor!
Despite his dark feathers,
He feels happiness and great honor
He shines proudly on the coat of arms.
You have a sincere and tender heart
That overflows with pure blood
Woman of eternal tenderness
Protect your children with great care!
Beloved mother, don’t be hard on yourself!
Live peacefully, with serenity
There, near the natural world
I will give you a kopiwe flower
To thank you for your kindness


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