The Mapuche are an indigenous people of South America. Their ancestral territory covers the states of Chile and Argentina.

For many centuries the Mapuche fought against the Spanish invaders  with furious and in contrast to many of the other indigenous peoples of America with successful resistance. Only in 1881 their resistance was suppressed brutally so that the Mapuche had to go into the reservation finally.

Because of the loss of their land to large landowners and timber companies in the 20th Century many Mapuche migrated to the cities. About 40 percent live in Santiago, Temuco and other metropolitan areas.

Under the Pinochet dictatorship the land restitution during the Allende government was reversed. This was followed by renewed severe repressions, above all the abolition of the common property which meant the de facto expropriation of Mapuche communities. Additionally the Bio Bio River was dammed, which put vast tracts of land of the Mapuche land under water.

In nationalist circles of Chile the existence of the Mapuche people is regularly denied until today.  In contrast many of the representative of the Mapuche communities emphasize their independence and at least the more radical among them refuse to call themselves Chileans. Historically conditioned mutal reservations characterize the relationship between the cultures of the Mapuche and the white part to this day.

source: Wikipedia – Mapuche









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