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Villa Pehuenia, Patagonia, Argentina

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History>> Mapuche´s History, Villa Pehuenia, Patagonia, Argentina

 

Mapuche Community history (mapu=earth, che=people) starting from the XV century it's a fight, slavery and escape for the survival history. 
Their origin is in araucanos natives in Chilean side of mountain range. They gave great work to Valdivia (century XVI) in his intent to conquer the territories of the south. Also it's believed that they were the people that more fight gave and more difficult of defeating of all America. 


Araucanos or mapuches resisting the attack of Spanish conquerors put on in more flowing contact (because they already had it) with their transandean brothers pehuenches, to trade with pampas or puelches (puel=east, che=people) with those who exchange fabrics and wheat for horses (necessary to face their powerful rival) and salt. Pehuenches traveled the mountain range of Argentinean side helping in the surveillance because they resided in border pass.


These populations that differed in their origins, language, features, etc., through the years contact and exchange are homogenized under the language mapuche (mapundungun), customs, etc., occurring a process (begun in the XVI century) of araucanización or mapuchización
In Argentina Mapuche population was established in several provinces being in total around 70 or 90 thousand. However most was in Neuquén province (together with part of Río Negro province) where there were around 30 or 40 thousand inhabitants. 


Today they are very few mapuches in the region since their people was decimated, murdered, enslaved and assimilated to the western culture.
From the year 1878 J. A. Roca begin "Conquers of the Desert" that will last until the years 1883, when it's achieved the "pacification" and incorporation of Neuquén to national territory. But it's in this first campaign that the area of the north of Neuquén province is occupied because of that some tribes surrender and others escape to Chile. This fact is of relevance for the area of Villa Pehuenia and surroundings because mapuches that inhabit the region are the descendants of those that had escaped to Chile that returned to their origin place. 
During these years they occur several lunges against mapuches being also the combats very bloody. Two important combats that were carried out to few kilometers of where the Villa is today they are: "Pulmary" and "Pino Hachado." Peña Haichol combat was the famous defeat of cacique Purrán that escape with few survivors through a hidden hole in an area of big pehuenes ignored by huincas (white people). The name - "Pino Hachado" - it's due to that the Army in indigenous persecution demolishes a pine like guide for their return. Curiosity: the pine was kept by the residents during years and burnt in a fire.


On the other hand the area in that Villa Pehuenia is located at the moment was the historical place of the live stock summer position of mapuches communities. It's at the end of XIX century that settles definitively in the place Puel Mapuche Community that is at the moment in the area in the surroundings of Mahuida Batea volcano and in La Angostura of Aluminé and Moquehue lakes. While Plácido Puel Mapuche Community is located on the coast of Aluminé lake. Among so much Catalán Mapuche Community is located in the outskirts of the Villa. 

Villa Pehuenia: Villa Pehuenia Travel Guide, Patagonia, Argentina: Mapuche´s History.

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