The Mapuche erected great wooden tombstones to remember their dead. These chemamull are carved from a single log and placed beside a person’s tomb. These “people of wood” stand as tall as a person, crafted as recognizably male or female figures with arms crossed over their bodies.
The Mapuche built these wooden statues to protect the spirits of their loved ones. They believed each statue guarded its tomb and helped to reunite a spirit with its ancestors.