Definitions for mapuche
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word mapuche
A person of the Mapuche.
Of, from, or pertaining to the Mapuche.
An indigenous group of inhabitants of Central and Southern Chile and Southern Argentina.
The language of the Mapuche people.
Origin: From Mapuce
The Mapuche are a group of indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina. They constitute a wide-ranging ethnicity composed of various groups who shared a common social, religious and economic structure, as well as a common linguistic heritage. Their influence once extended between the Aconcagua River and Chiloé Archipelago and spread later eastward to the Argentine pampa. The Mapuche make up about 9% of the Chilean population, and are particularly concentrated in Araucanía and are due to emigration also numerous in Santiago. The term Mapuche can refer to the whole group of Picunches, Huilliches and Moluche or Nguluche from Araucanía, or exclusively to the Moluche or Nguluche from Araucanía. The Mapuche traditional economy is based on agriculture; their traditional social organisation consists of extended families, under the direction of a "lonko" or chief, although in times of war they would unite in larger groupings and elect a toqui to lead them. The Araucanian Mapuche inhabited at the time of Spanish arrival the valleys between the Itata and Toltén rivers, south of it as did the Huilliche and the Cuncos lived as far south as the Chiloé Archipelago. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, Mapuche groups migrated eastward into the Andes and pampas, fusing and establishing relationships with the Poyas and Pehuenche. At about the same time, ethnic groups of the pampa regions, the Puelche, Ranqueles and northern Aonikenk, made contact with Mapuche groups. The Tehuelche adopted the Mapuche language and some of their culture in what came to be called Araucanization.
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