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The peoples that preceded us

What peoples inhabited Patagonia during the Conquest of the Desert? Who did Julio Argentino Roca face?
| 08 September, 2019 |

Since 1823, in the time of Martin Rodriguez, most of the governors of Buenos Aires, as well as successive presidents of the nation, decided to send campaigns to the desert. Little was known about the inhabitants of the south and we still do not know much about them. The destruction caused by Julio Argentino Roca and his predecessors, would lead to a complete loss of lines very old ethnic groups. Thus, he cast into oblivion traditions, forms of life and beliefs of which there are hardly any vestiges left today.

In the III Day of History of Patagonia of San Carlos de Bariloche (November 2008), graduates Ana María Albornoz and Graciela Montero established the definitive denomination of the cultures that inhabited southern Chile and Argentina from 1541 onwards.

As can be seen from the above days, an envoy of the Spanish crown named Pedro de Valdivia, founded Santiago de Chile in 1541, seeing that the area was already occupied by several pre-existing villages. By that year, the indigenous tribes of “New Extremadura”, that is, the current republic of Chile, were divided according to three communities independent.

The Reche, word that means “man true”; the Moluches, translated as “warrior man” (or possibly “man came from the West”) and he aucas, which would be something like that as “free men.”

These denominations were used for at least three centuries. They formed interchangeable groups and families of warriors with mixed unions.

It is very particular to see how, as follows saying Albornoz and Montero , the three groupings, despite of their differences, “currently recognized by the name of Mapuche people”. This identification process is called “ethnogenesis”. It would be the emergence of a people through the grouping of previous ones.

It is so complex and so little we know, that it is only feasible to say that it arises as a response to an external stimulus. In this case, it would be the attempt to conquer the present south of Chile by the hosts of Valdivia.

This so-called “ethnogenesis” led to the assembling of theReche, theMolucheandAucasin pursuit of the creation ofa force of resistance to the invader European.

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