A Brief History of the Mapuche
The Mapuche are an indigenous group that is found largely in Chile and Argentina and essentially make up around 10% of the population. This has always been a group, that despite possibilities of conquest from the Spanish and other indigenous tribes, still have managed to exist up util this very day. There have still been many issues that have gotten in the way of the Mapuche living peacefully amongst their communities, and this largely has to do with the fact that they have been dealing with land issues for centuries now. The Araucania region is the prime area in which the Mapuche live, although now an estimated count of 100,000 also live in Chile's capital, Santiago. This region holds significance because it is not only where the Mapuche have lived for hundreds of years, but it is where they have always fought off invaders and prevented others from taking away what is theirs. All throughout history, with the rise and fall of different empires and conquests, the Mapuche have always been able to hold strong in their customs, lifestyles and to an extent, their rightful land.
There are some who believe that the Mapuche have dated back almost 12,000 years in time, preserved through their own will and desire to live and to pass down their traditions to the communities and families. There have been several times throughout their history when people have come in and take away what belongs to them, and this has defined them as a people. During the 16th century when Spain came and started taking over everywhere and bringing indigenous tribes into the fold, the Mapuche resisted through clever techniques that ultimately made the Spanish leave them be. For example, for temporary amounts of time, the larger Mapuche groups would separate into smaller clans and groups, making it harder for people to attack or capture them, but still being involved enough in not forget their cultures and lifestyles. Other techniques also included waiting and hiding in forests before suddenly coming out and attacking the Spanish. They knew these lands better than anyone else and this was shown as they were protecting themselves. This was one of the first times the Mapuche had to defend themselves against Spanish attack and outside forces.