Antique Mapuche Silver Headband Converted into a Necklace, Indigenous Jewelry


A beautiful Mapuche silver headband known as Trarilonko made of silver and worn on the brow. But it could also have been part of a chest ornament. The Mapuche are indigenous people living in the Andean mountains in what are now known as Chile and Argentina.

In the eighteenth century, Mapuche smiths who had used metals such as gold and copper and to a lesser extent silver, before the arrival of Spaniards, started to use the silver coins which were circulated and melted down to make jewelry out of silver. Jewelry played an important part in the Mapuche lives and rituals. Silver jewelry was part of a bride's dowry. Most silver pieces were made from the 18th century to the early 20th century.

This piece is from Southern Chile from the late 19th century or early 20th century. It has been converted into a necklace by adding a hook. A unique and rare jewelry item in good condition. 

  • Length is 44 cm or 17 1/4 inches
  • Drop is 5 cm or 2 inches
  • Weight is 175 grams.

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