Spanish and criollo soldiers in what is now Chile viewed colonial Mapuche and especially male shamans (machi weye) as perverse sodomites engaged in devil worship. I analyze the gender identities of male and female machi in the colonial period by considering ethnic, gender, and power dynamics. I contrast colonial Mapuche (Reche) perceptions of machi as co-gender specialists having alternative sexualities with the discourses of sodomy, sorcery, and effeminacy used by Spanish and criollo soldiers and Jesuit priests. I explore the process by which the categories of the two groups gradually merge and how they shape contemporary Mapuche and Chilean majority discourses about machi as well as machi perceptions about themselves.

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