At the end of the nineteenth century in Chile Gustavo Milet was a central figure of the Chilean photographic production. He is mainly known by his broad group of portraits on Mapuche Indians. But within its vast production and among the studies that address it, a small group of images becomes blurred as an object of research: his photographs of white women dressed in Mapuche clothing.
The poor critical fortune that these images have had, has located them within the scope of the so-called “ethnographic” photographs, without recognizing the non-ethnic origin of the photographed women, or as an amazing exception that they represent to the traditional uses and photographic trends that dominated the nineteenth century. The main goal of this research is to explore the nature of these images and to propose a first reading of them, in the light of its context of production and of the photographic trends of the historical moment.