Essay on The Mapuche: People of the Earth

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The Mapuche: People of the Earth

The Mapuche, also known as the Araucano, were said to be the first people in the region south of Chile's Biobio River. Archaeological excavations show evidence of their culture dating back to 12,000 years. They were indigenous people that were inhabited originally in the southern portion of Chile in and around Region IX. They had well developed societies, impressive art, and the people were accomplished warriors. The leader what they call toqui was the Maximum Chief in war, and his power was symbolized by an engraved stone hatchet. The Spanish never successfully conquered the Mapuche. They were the only Hispano American nation hat was never vanquished. The Spanish captain won many battles before dying in
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The Mapuche are bilingual but they try to use their native language in daily speech. Their lifestyle is agrarian, and their songs, dances and prayers underscore the dichotomy of the universe, and the struggles between good and evil.
People are a very important part of their lifestyles. There are no abandoned people in the culture, everyone is taken in and is cared for. There is a great importance placed on family bonds although there are not as many extended families as there used to be, due to the cost of living and low wages. Many of the families are forced to be split apart to go do work.
The original religion of the Mapuche consisted of four "creation" gods: The old God, Wife of the old God, a Young God, and the Wife of the Young God. They believed in the supernatural, omens, and the afterlife. Horses were often eaten because the meat was said to be strong and would promote strength. If and important tribal member died, his horse was sacrificed because they believed the person needed the source of nourishment in the afterlife.
Now more Mapuches practice Catholicism as their religion. Though there are many echoes of ancient beliefs and customs, which are apparent in the culture. The most interesting is the Machi. The Machi, or Shaman is seen as a spiritual leader. They each possess special talents, some seers of the future others healers, and others maybe be able to communicated with spirits. The powers are symbolized by their
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