The Mapuche people are known to history as some of the greatest warriors. They were untamed, and as such admired by chroniclers and historians. The Mapuche successfully opposed the Incan Empire, and later the Spanish Empire. Today the Mapuche people are more alive than ever. Leftxaru, one of the greatest Mapuche leaders observed and then innovated the military strategies brought by the Spaniards, by incorporating them to his own people’s advantage. In the same spirit, this Network of Mapuche Tourism is a group of men and women who have found a new way of living and are striving to keep their Mapuche culture alive, through the offer of products and services.
Wallmapu is the name of the ancestral territory of the Mapuche. It’s partly located in the Chilean region of the Araucanía. In general terms, in this region, three local identities with their cultural differences can be recognised, which in turn are based on the natural landscapes in which they developed—the Mapuche Pewenche, who live in the mountains, the Mapuche Wenteche who live in the valleys, and the Mapuche Lafkenche who live by the coast. Every Mapuche seeks to live in harmony with nature, as did their ancestors. They see themselves as part of Nature and not as “masters of the universe” as asserted by some Western religions. For the Mapuche people, humans, nature and the spiritual world live together in harmony in pursuit of what is called Küme Mogen, or Good Life.
Mapuzugun is the ancestral language of the Mapuche. Every word relates to the human beings, natural behaviours and deeper beliefs. It keeps the knowledge (Kimün) and thoughts (Rakizuam).
The Mapuche culture, despite several attempts to make it disappear, is more alive than ever, changing and evolving, without disregarding its roots and principles which guide their world view. Today the Mapuche people innovate by developing products and services with their own cultural elements, which is key to create added value. In addition, the autonomous economic development is enhanced by the use of new technologies as well as an increasing number of university graduates in several areas, such s economy, engineering, education and medicine. Even in cinema Mapuche directors are noted, such as, Claudia Huaiquimilla who directed the film Mala Junta, or cinematographer Jeannette Paillan.
A living culture is also observed in daily life. The Mapuche people have been able to integrate themselves within cities. They work as any other person, but always in contact with their original communities. By visiting relatives, participating in ceremonial activities, such as Gillatun, recreational activities, such as the game called Palin, designing handicrafts, speaking their mother tongue (Mapuzugun) and teaching their culture to their children, friends and everyone who values, respects and wants to promote the Mapuche culture to the world, so that this whole knowledge is preserved for many new generations.
In summary, Mapuche people want to be a main actor in the social transformation processes that are taking place nowadays around the world. Due to this, we invite you to visit us and enjoy our way of life, our beautiful landscapes and our spirituality. Our commitment is that we want to make a small contribution to make your life more meaningful so that when you arrive back home, you will notice that you have experienced a positive transformation.