History and Philosophy

The main historical events in the Mapuche history can be summarised as follows:
Expansion of the Incan Empire to the Maule river by Inca Yupanqui. The Mapuche successfully repelled the invasion.
Christopher Columbus arrives in America.
Diego de Almagro arrives in Chile.
Pedro de Valdivia faced the Mapuche for the first time and was defeated in Quilacura by Toki Mallokete.
The Battle of Tucapel: Lautaro’s Victory and death of governor Pedro de Valdivia.
Death of Lautaro by Francisco de Villagra.
Battle of Lagunillas: Galvarino and Lincollan led the charge against military Mendoza.
Caupolican became Toki and led 12000 Mapuche in the battle of Millarapue. The Mapuche forces lost and Galvarino is killed.
Battle of the fort of Cañete and death of Toki Caupolican.
Second rebellion of the Mapuche people led by Toki Pelentaro.
Parliament of Quillin: Spain recognised the Independence of Wallmapu
Parliament of Trapilhue: The province of Arauco (between Biobio river and Tolten river) is formed
“Pacification of Araucanía” and the Process of Reduction
The Chilean army ends the independence of Wallmapu
Subdivision of Titles of Land
Successful fight by the Quinquen community against forestry industries to preserve the Araucaria.
Indigenous Peoples Act and creation of “legal” communities
Ratification of the International Labor Organization Convention No. 169 (valid since 15 September 2009).

Being a Mapuche person
In the Mapuche language, che means people and mapu means land. Therefore, Mapuche means “People of the land” However, to be “che” for the Mapuche people is a much deeper concept, related to the fulfilment of a certain code of conduct which harmonise people’s relationships, nature and their spirits. In turn, “mapu” for the Mapuche is more than just land. It is everything that surrounds us. Food, medicinal herbs, water, plants, weather, night, day, natural laws; the sky, the depths of the earth, air, water, the sun, the stars, everything with which they can interact. Below we will mention some values related to being a Mapuche person.
Indomitable: The Mapuche have always sought to live in liberty, rejecting military, religious and ideological invasions. They have kept their own culture alive. Nowadays, young people are rebuilding and strengthening their culture for future generations. From their origins, the Mapuche people had taken care of the territory where they live. Due to this, they faced continuous invasions, among which the most renown are that of the Incan Empire, who arrived to the Maule area and attacked the Mapuche and after a series of confrontations they decided to retreat back to Peru. Then, around 1550, the Spanish conquest started. The first confrontation took place in the Biobío area, followed by a series of battles. This is called the War of Arauco (1550-1656). The Mapuche achieved recognition by the Kingdom of Spain as a Nation in 1641, which allowed them to live as an independent state. Then, the territory was invaded by the Chilean State, in a process called by the Chilean State as “Pacification of the Araucanía”, which ended in 1883. Both the army and Christianity were used as a subjugation strategy. In the past years, the Mapuche identity has been valued again. The number of people that recognise themselves as Mapuche and are proud of their roots, even without a Mapuche surname, is increasing. Today you will meet people who are fighting against the forestry business, because, when they started, they cut down native trees and planted species that eroded and dried fertile soils with important biodiversity. In regards to this last point, it should be pointed out that the community of Quinquen, in Lonquimay, led a successful struggle against the forestry industries to defend the Araucaria trees during the 80s and 90s, which were being exterminated in order to send wood to Europe.
A collective spirit open to the world: The Mapuche people have always been social and collective. The exchange of products (trafkitu) is still practiced, as well as house construction (rukan), Mapuche sports (Palin), songs (ülkantun), religious ceremonies (Gillatun) and mutual collaboration (kelluwün). The mapuche people are open to all those who want to learn and know about their culture, as long as they act with respect and humility. In particular, this network of Mapuche Tourism is always available to receive all visits (witxan) who wish to enjoy and know more about the territory and culture. We are waiting for you here.

Innovative: In this sense, Lautaro (Leftxaru in Mapuzugun), one of the most important leaders of the Mapuche People, should be an example. After being abducted by the Spaniards, he observed and learned military strategies from them, as well as their way of life. He then provided this knowledge to his people and used them against the Spanish invaders. In particular, at this time, the horse was used as a war technology. Nowadays, the Mapuche people continue using Lautaro’s method, studying in universities, incorporating new information technologies in order to benefit from the global economy. A particular case is the importance of Mapuche women in family economy. In the past, Mapuche women transmitted the culture to their children. Family cohesion was the most important factor. Today it continues. Important steps have been dared to be taken by women by reaching educational levels similar or higher than men, in addition to a generation of Mapuche businesswomen, particularly in tourism. This evolution is always done by regenerating those ancestral and beneficial cultural elements to have a harmonious life in the future.


 The Mapuche as part of Nature

The Mapuche learned to balance natural forces, which are in the physical and spiritual realms. This means that the Mapuche are more than “simple ecologists”. They believe in the existence of spirits (Gen), who control natural spaces and must be respected. This is the greatest difference with some Western religions, where it is believed that the divinity entrusted human beings to be in charge of and rule nature, while the Mapuche believe that they are part of nature. Thus, there exists a deep interrelation between human beings and nature. Neither can live isolated from the other.
We invite you to live with us in Wallmapu, a magical place, where in short distances you will find: hills, mountains, rivers, lakes, seas, active volcanoes, dormant volcanoes, natural hot springs, trayenko (areas were water is flowing from), menoko (wetlands), wüfko (spring water), pütxantu (area with diverse types of plants), waterfalls. A welcoming weather with moderate temperatures will make your visit an agreeable experience any time of the year. In the montainous region we enjoy snow during the winter, which is ideal for skiing or trekking on traditional snowshoes (waüllo), while on the coast there are sea-related activities. This is always done by respecting nature, since we are part of it.
Mapuche spirituality

Everyday Mapuche elders perform llellipun (prayer) at sunrise, to thank nature and the divinity for what was yielded. There are collective ceremonies, such as the Gillatun, which thanks crops and abundance during the year as well as asking for draught to be ended during difficult times in Wallmapu. Another important aspect of the Mapuche is to combine the observation of the physical environment with metaphysical aspects. An illustration of this is the use of dreams to guide conducts and decide whether to do an activity or avoid it, as well as taking decisions. This ancestral custom used to be practised while having breakfast.
A main guide in Mapuche spirituality is the Machi, who is closely related to the divinity, more than any Mapuche, and masters natural medicine. The Machi guides most religious ceremonies and heals those who are sick using medicinal plants (Lawen). Nowadays, in several areas of Wallmapu, medicinal gardens are being prepared and the plants used by Mapuche ancestors are grown again.
For the Mapuche everything that is in Nature is alive and has a protector; therefore, the Machi while working cannot make hasty decisions. Every time a natural area is intervened a ritual is performed to ask for permission from the Gen (spirit controlling that area).