"Three years of captivity among the Patagones" is an exceptional ethnological document, but to its documentary value it adds the attraction and intensity of an adventures novel. It narrates the extraordinary experience of Auguste Guinnard, a young French immigrant who, around 1850, gets lost in the Pampas and is captured by native tribes who considered every foreigner a foe. Bound to a cruel slavery among the last nomads of Patagonia, Guinnard, was forced to sleep in the ground, and survive naked feeding from raw meat and fresh blood. In spite of being despised, and often chastised even by children, he became a privileged witness to alternate scenes of peace and violence. In his narration he details both the domestic habits of the various tribes with whom he lived, as well as the return of the "malones" and the horrid fate reserved to captives, male and female. Permanently risking death, most of the time hopeless, Guinnard finally managed to flee in a horrendous night and day galloping horse ride. This extraordinary adventure narration was first published in France with great success in the Le Tour du monde magazine. Even French writer Jules Verne, one of its passionate readers, was inspired by Guinnard to set the beginning of "The children of Captain Grant" in Patagonia. Guinnard's book is one of the most important and original documents facilitating a better understanding of a key moment in the Argentine past, when two antagonistic life conceptions, one European, sedentary and in need of peace conditions to flourish, and the other, indigenous and nomadic, and dependent of bellicose habits in order to keep control of its vast territories, attempted an almost impossible coexistence This new Spanish edition, translated from the French original, annotated and with a foreword by Sorbonne researcher prof. Jean-Paul Duviols, constitutes a valuable addition to the existing bibliography, making a great reading for any course dealing with the "indian issue" of the South American Pampas.
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