Celeste Painepan Nicûl

Celeste Painepan Nicûl

“I inherited the culture from my parents and the trade of Silversmith from my older Brother who was formed by ancient Retrafes (Mapuche silversmiths), who by family tradition, passed on the ancient techniques and their symbolism.

There is an ancient tradition that consists of piercing the ears of the young Mapuche girls under a full moon. This is our first promotion ritual that enables us to be ‘Silver Ladies’. I remember when I was about 5 years old, I was initialised in the Katan Kawin (ear piercing ritual) during the Wiñol Tipantru (Mapuche New Year) by my Grandmother Antonia, who travelled from Lautaro to Santiago just to perform the ritual and give me my first pair of Chaguays (earrings).

Once the ritual ended, a celebration was made and a lamb was slaughtered for the meal. At that time, I did not understand the meaning of that celebration. Now, I do, and I realise that rather than celebration, it was a ceremony where she passed on to me her Kimûn (wisdom). My worldview embodies a sacred connection with our ancestors and it obeys to my culture, family and story.”