The Mapuche people are indigenous to Southern Chile and currently make up only 4% of the population of Chile. The word, “Mapuche” means “people of the Earth”, which makes sense because of the early Mapuche lifestyle (Woodward). Prior to the Spanish colonization of Chile, they lived fairly nomadically; subsisting on hunting and gathering. When the Spanish arrived in Chile, the Mapuche resisted them fiercely and even took on the skill of horseback riding in order to adapt to Spanish tactics (Mapuche). This resiliency is still apparent today and is shown by the fact that the Mapuche language, Mapundungu, is still spoken in some areas and their heritage and culture has been kept alive by continued practice of traditions (Woodward). An effort is being made by hospitals to incorporate shamans, or Machi, into their medicine programs, which also helps to preserve the culture of the Mapuche people.
by Jessica Shotwell
Woodward, Rob, Mapuche, Date published: 7/19/13, Date accessed: 11/11/13, http://www.southamerica.cl/Chile/Mapuche.htm
Mapuche Araucano Culture, Date published: 2013, Date accessed: 11/11/13, http://www.interpatagonia.com/mapuche/index_i.html
Image: Eduardo (Robert.Kincaid), “Mapuche”, People of the Land, Date published: 1/26/10, Date accessed: 11/11/13, http://www.flickr.com/photos/maskaiano/4305016683/