Who are the Mapuche people?

The word Mapuche consists of two words: “Mapu” and “che” which means land and people respectively and is referring together to a variety of groups of people, from the South Huilliche. Their ancestors migrated to the area which is now known as Chile 12.000 years ago. The Mapuche are the only group that survived the attacks of the Inca and have never been occupied by them.

Where do the Mapuche people reside?

Currently the Mapuche population is around 1.5 million in Chile, and 200,000 in Argentina. According to the 2012 census, 37.4% of the Chilean Mapuche population lives in Santiago and the rest in the south between the 8th and the 10th regions.

Where can I research more about the Mapuche people?

On top of the information provided in this blog there is much more to learn and know about the Mapuche people. The best place to start is definitely the Mapuche Museum in Pucón. Designed to conserve and share the history of the Mapuche, the small museum includes a surprisingly large number of ceramics, axes, musical instruments, silver jewellery, sculptures, pipes and masks. Located in an underground room protecting the pieces from natural light, the museum can only be accessed with a guide who contextualises the exhibits within the rich history of the Mapuche people. In addition to that, if you wish to check out their eye-catching jewelry and stunning artwork, a trip to Museo Regional de la Araucanía of Temuco or Pucón Museo Mapuche will definitely impress you.

Why should I read about the Mapuche history?

The history of fighting for Mapuche own land, culture, language and traditions is a great example of a strong community and spirited nation. Nowadays the Mapuche people are still struggling because of their rights and existence not being recognized. By learning more about this culture, I am hoping to get attention to the issues of this proud nation and take their strength as an example for each one of us.

Which language do the Mapuche people speak?

In Argentina and Chile, one of the common, and endangered, indigenous languages are called Mapuche. It is spoken by the Mapuche indigenous group, and is also known as Mapuzugun and Mapudungun. “Mapu” means “earth” and “che” means “people” in the Mapuche language. Check out my recent blog post “Three interesting facts about the Mapuche language” to find out more.

When did the history of Mapuche people start?

The start of the Mapuche nation is dating back 12000 years ago. The Mapuche people had a very difficult history during this time. You can read more in my blog posts about the history of Mapuche people.

What are Mapuche people are famous for?

The Mapuche people are known for their long history of fighting with Inca and Spanish conquerors, for inventing their own unique language, for the delicious and flavorful cuisine as well as for making exquisite jewelry and outstanding artwork. You can also read more about the topic in my recent blog post “The Mapuche people”.