Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2011


Many theorists have contended that nationalism is based on notions of exclusion and the idea of an "other" that exists outside of the nation. Perceptions of gender and racial identity greatly contribute to the way in which the nation is imagined in Andean South America, and this paper analyzes how indigenous women have been affected by the national discourses that have formed in Chile and Peru. I argue that although there has been increasing recognition at the global level of the need to expand national ideologies to include formerly marginalized groups, indigenous women in Peru and Chile continue to be prevented from participating fully as rights- holders and citizens of the state because they are marginalized by the dominant national discourses in terms of belonging and representation. In Chile, Mapuche women are left out of imaginings of the nation not only because of their status as indigenous, but also because of their gender and socioeconomic position. Chile's neighbor to the north, Peru, has also relied upon sentiments of nationalism that maintain a strict social hierarchy and relegate indigenous women to the margins of society. Despite the fact that Peru has a larger indigenous population than does Chile, the ruling elite of Peru have constructed a national community that views Quechua women as subservient due to their indigeneity, gender, and class.