CaupolicÇ­n: Shaping the Image of National Identity in Chilean Public Art

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Drien, MarcelaA.
The Graduate School, Stony Brook University: Stony Brook, NY.
CaupolicÇ­n, the statue created in the nineteenth century by the Chilean sculptor Nicanor Plaza, is considered one of the most popular works of Chilean public statuary. However, the historical trajectory of the statue reveals that the statue was not originally conceived of as a public monument, nor was it even originally intended to represent the historical Native American figure of CaupolicÇ­n, for whom it was named. Instead, its first identity appears to have been the last of the Mohicans, a character taken from James Fenimore Cooper's novel of the same name. This study explores the circumstances in which the statue became known by these two different identifications and the way in which the statue known as CaupolicÇ­n became known as one of the most emblematic images of Chilean national identity.