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Mapuches better warrriors than Aztecs

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    Posted: 25 Jul 2009 at 04:44
This paper shows an explanation why the Mapuches stopped and defeated the Spanish army while a more advanced civilization, like the Aztec, was defeated with relatively easy.
 
I agree in most of its points. If somebody don't know who the Mapuches were, well, they were simply the best Native American warriors of them all. See why:
 
 

AN OVERVIEW OF THE
MAPUCHE AND AZTEC MILITARY RESPONSE
TO THE SPANISH CONQUEST

AUTHOR: EDUARDO A. CRUZ FARIAS


Major In Spanish Literature- The University of British Columbia, Canada
Ethnic and Cross Cultural Relation -Capilano College, Canada
General Education -Langara College, Canada
Sociology- University of Concepcion, Chile
Eduardo Agustin Cruz Farias
April 5, 2002




ABSTRACT

This paper analyses the military response to the Spanish conquest of the Indigenous peoples of Chile and Mexico from a comparative perspectives. The main goal of this paper is to highlight the cultural differences and similarities of both culture, and point out why the Mapuches were more successful in the military science than the Aztec.

The Indigenous Peoples of Latin America, historically they were defeated military fairly completely before the outsiders of European origin. Except for the indigenous Peoples of Chile the Mapuches they were the only one in this continent to defeat a European army; and for 350 years keep they autonomy of they territory. The failures of the most civilized cultures in this continent like the Incas and the Aztec to oppose a serious military resistance is evident in retrospect, the Aztec resisted for three years - the Mapuches for 350 years of successful resistance - The Incas of Peru for instance, succumbed without a struggle; Peru was one of the easiest conquest the Spaniards ever made, there does not seem to have been one pitched battle in the field between the Spaniards and the Inca's armies. In a short time the Spanish conquered the only two civilized region of the New World: the Aztec Empire of Mexico, conquered by Cortes in 1521, and the empire of Peru, conquered by Pizarro in 1531-1533. They did it with few casualty in Combat. The only military defeat that the Spanish encountered in the America was in Chile. Don Pedro de Valdivia was defeated by the Mapuches forces, and killed in December 25,1553, with his entire force. How was possible that the most primitive tribe of this continent was able to defeat the best army in the world at that time? There were not settled kingdom with its emperor not stone -built temples and hierarchy, as in Peru and Mexico and the inhabitants were not so far advanced. But it possessed the stoutest warriors in the Americas. Despite these cultural and material differences, important commonalities can be found in this period. They were for the most part self-governing and sovereign peoples.

The Spanish chroniclers Alonzo de Ercilla(1), Gongora Marmolejo(2), Nuñez de Piñeda(3), speak of them in terms of admiration, although the two first fought against them and Nunez de Pineda y Bascunan suffered Happy captivity at their hands. Also the Letters of Pedro de Valdivia(4). Verbalize in terms of admiration and respect. To Chileans, his letters to His Catholic Majesty Charles V, are one of the most precious records in the possession of their country- in the document are to be found the impression of Valdivia of the mapuches people, one of the most remarkable of all the Indian races of America. A record so unique compels respect and with respect academic curiosity. The main goal of this paper is to highlight the cultural differences and similarities of both culture, and point out why the Mapuches were more successful in the military science than the Aztec.

SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF GROUPS TO BE COMPARED

The Aztecs arrived in the valley of Mexico, what is now called Meso-America, relatively late in the 13th century AD. They were based in central Mexico and finally settled at the site of what became Tenochtitlan in 1345. They emerged as an empire less than a century later. The Aztecs were a city-state, with an emperor, and Tenochtitlan was his capitol city. The government was an elective monarchy(5). There was a division of class based on the social structure, in which the slaves were at the bottom of the social scale. The slaves could buy their freedom if they earned enough money, but this also worked the opposite way if someone was in debt. At the top of the social scale was the nobility, Merchants (pochtecah) and the commoners were ranked before the slaves. At the top of the Aztec society were the ruling nobles who were subdivided into several categories the tlahtoani was the ruler of a province o town, the king was a tlahtoani. The teuclahtoh were nobles who received their offices through hereditary succession. Below the teuclahtoh were the teteuctin or lords. Below the ruling class were the pipiltin (governmental position). There were several ranks within the pipiltin class. Below the pipiltin were the cuauhpipiltin, commoners who had achieved noble status. Below the nobility were the calpolehqueh (sing. Calpoleh) the calpolli (or ward). Below the nobility were the commoners, the macehualtin (sig. macehually) who formed the bulk of Aztec society. Another groups of commoners, the mayehqueh, or tlalmaintin were permanent laborers. And finally were the slaves.

The Mapuches are the off spring of the ancient Hunter of Monte Verde (12000 Years back) and Chan Chan(6) and Quillen (5000 years). They also descend from the people of Pitren (first century of our era) and El Vergel (second millennium of our era).

The Mapuches of Chile were fundamentally hunters and gatherers, although they practiced some basic farming techniques(7). The central organization of the Mapuches was the Lof(8), (has its origin in the extended family structure) a complex and extended kinship lineage of matrilineal origin. It is shaped by their socio-cultural, polical and ideological concepts. The Lof's authority was the Lonko (or head in Mapuche Language). Each of these families lived in a ruca, a kind of long house, where the lonko lived with as many wives as he could handle(9). The Mapuche authorities within the lof were the werken, or messenger, the machi and the nguillatufe. The community's daily way of life was regulated in a code of practice known as Ad-Mapu. It was transmitted by the Ulmen (wise) who, acted as negotiators in the prevention and resolution of internal disputes, or the formation of alliances with others tribes in time of war.

The machi were people with shamanistic and healing powers who were in charge or the Machitun, a Mapuche religious-magic ritual, due to these powers. The nguillatufe was a religious leader who was the ritual head of the Nguillatun(10), a ceremony that is central to Mapuche religious and shamanistic world. This sacred ceremony is conducted in an area specially allocated by the community Known as Nguillantue. There, at the altar or Rehue in the open air the Mapuches give thanks to Nguinechen, the Mapuche god. Their belief system maintained that that the world was created by a celestial family, who were the creators of all beings as well as holdings the power of nature.


INTRODUCTION

Both the Aztecs and the Mapuche people were warrior nations, with similar methods of warfare and motivations to fight the Spanish domination. The difference between the two societies was in the fact that the Mapuches refused to fall under Spanish control and therefore opposed the Spaniards in fierce resistance for over 350 years. In the Mapuche society there was no concept of slavery and so the Mapuches could not understand becoming servants or slaves to the Spanish. This left little choice for the Mapuche except to fight or to flee the Spaniards. The Aztecs fell under Spanish control for 3 years during 1519 -1521, despite their military power, vast political network, and motivations to conquer. The Aztecs society was different than the Mapuche in that it was based on a class society in which there was slavery. They therefore understood the concept of slavery and being a servant to the Spaniards. They were also much more open to foreign control since the god they worshipped, Quetzalcoatl, was also a foreigner. The Mapuches on the other hand were against change and would not accept any ideas from outside their society. The mapuche religion believe in the forces of creation (Ngenechen) and destruction (Wakufu) and the ultimate balance between them. And a variation of shamanistic beliefs, the cult of the ancestor to invoke their help - because the Mapuche believe in they cult of the spirit of their ancestor and religious beliefs that the world will end if they no resist the Spaniard the Mapuche established a reputation as a fierce warriors who bravely defend their lands and their way of life. The habitat of the Mapuches during the Inca and later the Spanish conquest was the region of central Chile, from south of the Choapa River (approximately Lat. 32°south). They were divided into three geographically contiguous ethnic groups: the Picunche (Picun = north and Che = people), the Mapuche (Mapu = earth and Che = people), and the Huilliche (Huilli = south and Che = people). The northernmost group the Picunche, was the only one conquered, first by the Incas, and then by the Spaniards. The Mapuche and the Hulliche, on the contrary continue to resist the Spaniard for hundred of years, keeping their independence in the southern region thanks to long guerrilla warfare(11).

Mapuche organization also considered the existence of lof alliances or rewes, for specific purposes. The head of these rewes was the ulmen, a leader who was elected among the lonko due to his wisdom and strength. In time of crisis such a war, alliances of nine rewes, also called aillarewes, were formed. The authority in charge of these aillarewes was the ulmenfvxa lonko during peacetime and the toqui during the time of war. All of the aillarewes together gave origin to the concept of Gvla-Mapu that meant "all the Mapuche Nation".

In the Aztec society there were the upper class elite's and the commoners. This was called the Calpolli system, and it controlled all access to land for the commoners. There was also a merchant class, who was a part of the nobility. In the Calpolli system one could advance in social position as well as move down the social scale. Almost everyone benefited from war, because the more land captured meant the more land there was available to divide up. This system needed a very heavy control by those in power over those that they dominated. For this reason they needed a strong head of state.

The fighting between the Spanish and the Mapuches became known as "la guerra de Arauco" or the "Araucanian War," (1541 -1883). They were the series of military armed conflict from the 16th to the 19th centuries through which the Mapuche Indians of Chile sought to maintain their independence from the Inca, the Spanish, and the government of Chile and Argentina. (Berdichesky, 1975, page 15); the Mapuches from the very beginning of the war With the Spaniards adopted the tactics of their enemy who they soon dominated in warfare(12). The horse played a highly important role in their tactics that were innovative and highly practical. The Aztecs on the other hand were excellent fighters against other tribes, but their tactics were inefficient and did not improve during the fighting with the Spanish.

Therefore the Spanish use of the cavalry and artillery, tactics and weaponry placed the Aztec in a vulnerable position in frontal assault on open terrain(13). The Aztecs were only fighting with the Spaniards for three years, a very short period for training, too short to come out with new military technique. Whereas the Mapuches were at war with the Spanish for over the 350 years, which allowed for flexibility and training for new techniques. Indigenous cultures differed from one another in many ways in this case the wars in which these people engaged to defend such area. Land for these people had a broad meaning.


Aztec and Mapuche Military Techniques

Tenochtitlan city was not fortified according to Hassig (1988, page 52) in contrast to most of Mesoamerica town, but is was defensible, and the city position was on an island. The lakes were connected with the mainland by causeways. Consequently the Spanish attacked the city by ships and canoe. On the other hand the Mapuches fought in jungle; mountains, and the military campaigns were during the summer; the rainy season was 8 months In Chile. Central Mexico climatic cycle involves a dry season, around September to May, followed by a rainy season through the summer. Which means it was easier to move large numbers of men and supplies in Mexico than in Chile because the quality of the roads. Also the rivers in Chile during the rainy season were impassable.

Compared to the Aztecs, the Mapuche people were a very closed society, who gained their strength and power through warfare. They would not accept any foreign cultural ideas and domination. War was history for the Mapuches, who had no record of the past events (written history). The Mapuche sought leadership through strength and power within themselves, which was defined through warfare. The Mapuche people believed that through warfare they made History the war was a expression of this belief. The best of the human quality of every Mapuche warrior will expresses in the combat in this unique moment frozen in time were the warrior and the universe are connected, in just one second, calling the name of a friend in order to make sure they are present. The term Culture,in the paper does not refers to fine arts and letters, Mapuche cultural development ocurred only in those which had survival value - Spanish Pressure first and Chilean later was exerted in three areas - military, political, and religious. Mapuche reaction and response followed the same gradient.
They thought that if the Spanish need slave they have to defeated the Mapuche Nation military first.

In contrast, the Aztecs accepted compromise with other nations, for example Spain, and were able to incorporate foreign ideas into their own open society. (La trasformación de la deidad Aztec en la virgen de Guadalupe es un tipo de "Plataforma de entendimiento" impensable en el ambito Mapuche.)

The cult of the virgin Guadalupe by the Aztec is unthinkable for Mapuches Indian; according to Bengoa (1992, Conquista, pag. 26-27)(14). This is a compromise with foreign religious ideas and also they accepted to be servants of the Spaniards because they have the concept in they society, after a fierce war of resistance they yield.

In 1541, Pedro de Valdivia, the first governor of Chile, founded the capital city of Santiago. Six months later Michimalongo(15), an Indian chief from a northern group of Mapuche people, destroyed it. In order to fight the Indians, Valdivia founded a new city in the South, in October 5, 1550 - this city, Concepcion, was used to bring weapons in by sea, but was also lost to the Mapuches in an uprising in 1553. The city was reclaimed but lost again in 1554, to the forces of Lautaro (the Indian leader immortalized in Alonso de Ercilla y Zuñiga's epic poem La Araucana). In 1557 Caupolican was defeated, by the Mendoza's forces, and killed the following year. Finally Lautaro was killed in battle in 1557. The relation with the Spanish was then quiet until the Mapuches killed Don Pedro the Avendano, the man who had killed Caupolican, in 1561. Villagra, the governor of Chile, sent his brother Pedro on a punitive expedition. Colo-Colo (leader or toqui), defeated the Spanish forces, killed the governor's brother, and began the siege of Fort Arauco in 1563(16). The pattern of intermittent warfare was brought into existence. It was characterized by success and defeat for both sides, until peace treaties were made ruling out offensive and defensive tactics. In practice the Spanish army could not defeat the Mapuche in war. Not only can the Spaniards not win, they do not deserve to win according to what is being said by The Spanish chroniclers Alonzo de Ercilla; the moral indictment is much blacker than the military.

Graham Cunninghame (1973)(17) stated: Valdivia wrote to the king of Spain Charles V. March 12, 1550:

"Fifteen hundred to two thousands Indians were killed, and many others lanced, and some taken prisoners, from two hundreds of whom I had the hands and noses cut off for their contumacy when I had many times sent them messengers and given them the commands as ordered by yours Majesty."
Valdivia's Christian view seems strange he has not problems to perpetrate such barbaric act upon his two hundred defenseless prisoners. However, three years later the Mapuche returned, thirsting for revenge in the battle of Tucapel, Valdivia and the entire Spanish forces perished, they were no survivors.

The Mapuche war ritual was demonstrated in the death of Valdivia, (although there are many versions of how the killing took place).(18) According to Ercilla, Valdivia was killed with the blow of a club, with a knife a warrior cut open his breast, ripped his still quivering heart which was handed it to the toqui; he sucked its blood. The heart was passed round from one to another, and a drinking cup was made from his skull. The warriors keep running round the corpse brandishing their lances and uttering weird cries, while the rest of the assembly stamped with their feet until the earth shook (Ercilla, 1979, pag 193). Thus miserably perished Pedro de Valdivia, one of the great figures of the great conquest of the new world.

This was a Mapuche war ritual in order to honor the enemy warrior and get his power, strength, and intelligence. From his long bones, flutes were made. The victory celebration continued with the killing of an animal (guanaco or llama). The heads of the enemies were then stuck up on spears and danced around while singing. The celebration ended with elaborate feasting and heavy drinking (of fermented beverages which were made from maize, quinoa, araucaria nut, and later wheat and barley)(19).

Lewis(20) acknowledging the bravery of the Mapuche in theirs wars against the Spaniards believes that the savage image of the Mapuche became a myth constructed by the newcomers in order to justify theirs defeats in wars with them, as well as to encourage their enslavement in future wars.

The Aztecs had similar rituals to sacrifice the captive enemies to the gods. The prisoners of war were led up to pyramids in the Aztecs capital of Tenochtitlan, where their hearts were torn from their bodies and fed to the gods. Huitzilopochtli, the god of war, to whom rattlesnakes were sacred. For the Aztecs it was this demand from the gods that drove them to war against other tribes, but against the Spaniards was a necessity to defend theirs territory. The Aztecs was an open society and accepted compromise with the Spanish people. The Mapuches were a closed society, and did not accept foreigners or any social change. They refused to be servants to the Spaniards and for this reason the only choices they had were to fight the Spaniards or to flee. The Mapuche made their history in the war, which therefore became a sacred ritual for them. The warriors wanted the power and strength, which they gained from the enemies they captured in war (selected enemies only).

The Mapuche were able to defeat the Spaniards(21) in battle with inferior numbers, in even numbers with the Spaniards and also when they have superior numbers of warrior over the Spaniards: these consecutive series of great action is never by pure chance and luck; it is the product of planing, training and genius(22). The Aztec were not able to defeat the Spaniard even when the Indian outnumbered them. At no time was it usual for the Spanish forces to outnumber the enemy anywhere in America. The Spaniards, with or with or without Indian allies, had a tremendous capability for winning military victories with inferior numbers.

By reason of the superior tactic, weaponry of the Spanish army as well as the inability of changes the tactic that they were using. The Mapuche, as previously explained, were able to maintain their political and territorial autonomy in the Auracania until the nineteenth century(23). The Mapuche autonomy was a product of a constant wars in which were engaged with the Spanish throughout most of the colonial period, the wars were not general confrontations as in the past(24), but in the form of local armed conflict or malocas(25). In contrast the Indigenous People of Mexico the Aztec unfortunately were defeated early.


Aztec and Mapuche Warriors

Both the Mapuche and Aztec warriors were noted to be very brave, courageous, and ferocious in warfare. The difference was the Mapuche were more innovative and creative. They were very good at coming out with solutions in battle and were always improvising and creating new methods of warfare. The Aztecs wanted to capture the enemy in order to get their hearts to give to the gods, but the Mapuches object was to exterminate the enemy by any means possible. This lead to a very brutal form of warfare used by the Mapuche. It is important to highlight that the battles among the Mapuches and the Spaniards sometimes were in numerical imbalance between the two forces. The Mapuches won battles against a force that was in total superior to their own(26).

The battle of Tucapel, on December 25, 1553(27), demonstrated the ferocity and determination in Mapuche warfare. The war began when the Indian Chief Lautaro planned to engage in battle with the Spaniards continuously until they were worn out. The two armies draw battle lines just South of the Tucapel fortress the fighting was so fierce that not one Spanish soldier survived. During the battle the first governor of Chile, Pedro de Valdivia, ended his days. Valdivia suffered poetic justice, slain by the Indians.

In the same manner the Aztec warrior in la 'noche triste' (the night of sorrows, June 30, 1520) because of the high casualty figures on both sides. As the Spaniard and their Tlaxcalan allies attempted to flee the island of Tenochtitlan on the causeways, Aztec warriors attacked them. Many were killed. And many were drowned in the lake. What was left of Cortes troops made their way to the safety of Tlaxcala territory. Cortez and his men returned in April of 1521, craving for vengeance.

In his correspondence to the King Charles V., Pedro De Valdivia, conqueror of Chile, state:

"Have warred with men of many nations, but never have seen such fighting tenacity as is displayed by these Indian."(28)
This was high praise by a man who was very experienced in combat and who had fought in many wars with the Mapuches. The Mapuches also came up with new methods of warfare and were the first Indians in the continent to use artillery, such as the cannon. They also used infantry combined with horses in order to mobilize faster on the difficult terrain. This method was so successful the Spanish army later copied it.

The Aztecs were also noted as being very brave and courageous warriors. According to Bernal Diaz Del Castillo, who fought for the Spanish:

"Little availed our cannon, or our muskets, crossbows and lances, or the thrusts we gave them, or our good fighting, for although we killed and wounded many of them, yet they managed to reach us by pushing forward over the points of the our swords and lances, and closing up their squadrons never desisted from their brave attack, nor could we push them away from us."(29)
Aztec warriors have not always been considered professional soldiers, despite the existence of military orders, because membership in the army was not full time occupation (Hassig, 1988, page 11).


Tactics and Weapons

To a large extent, the striking power of the Spaniard army was the cavalry fast moving counter-attack and hard-hitting formations and the artillery played and immense part in sustaining the morale of the Spanish infantry, to advance toward enemy lines. On the other hand for the Indigenous People was perhaps the worst of all battle experience. Spain had the best army in the World in that period, 16 century. The standard infantry weapon was the musket with all its limitations and unreliability, the sword and the spear. The Mapuches learned very fast How to overcome the cavalry and avoid the carnage of the artillery.

The Mapuche innovative and creative techniques also aided them in tactics and weapon use. They chose their battles carefully, fighting only when they felt they could win. They accepted servitude when Spanish forces seemed strong. But once the conquerors military vigilance declined, they would rise again in rebellion. The Aztecs on the other hand did not create any new methods or use any new weapons. The main reason was possibly the short length of time (only three years) that they were fighting with the Spanish, whereas the Mapuche were fighting for over 350 years. New tactics and weapons need a lot of training and understanding of the new concepts of war, when to retreat, when to move forward and when to move to new terrain. In 350 years of fighting the Mapuche had time to invent and test new tactics and weaponry. For this reason they incorporated the horse, guerilla tactics, artillery cannon, infantry on horses, espionage, fortress, camouflage trenches, armor and helmet, and the use of porcupine as weaponry against cavalry. This consisted in a group infantrymen with 3-meter long lances or pikes (Bonilla, 1988, pag 294-295).

Steward (1988, page 730) notes that the Mapuches "as early as 1568, the Araucanian had begun to use cavalry in battle on a fairly large scale; later, they used it much more frequently. In battle formation, the infantry advanced in the center and the cavalry on the wings. The use of advance guards, sentinels at night, trenches protected with thorn branches, pitfall and ditches with sharp stakes at the bottom, spies and fifth-column work, and log forts and palisades (Pucara) was common."
By the end of 16th century, the Mapuche had learned to use horses in large formation. The great chief Namcunahuel was the creator and organizer of the Mapuche cavalry. However in the battle of Tucapel they used the horse for the first time by the great chief Lautaro, but in limited numbers and not yet well organized. The Mapuche chief Butapichun created the Mapuche infantry in horses, he stressed the imperativeness of moving so as always to achieve local superiority, even against a force that was in total superior to his own. Generally speaking, the Mapuches retained their own weapons in the war against the Spanish. Strategy was more important than weapons. Their weapons had improved although they still depend on Lance, the long club with weighted heads slings, bow and arrow, and the pike. On the contrary the Aztec never used the horse, but the Spaniard noted their tenacity in fighting in closed hand-to hand fighting. They pretended to retreat, but merely to induce the Spaniards to follow them and cut off for the fortress. According to Nuñez de Piñeda -on 15th of May 1529- in the battle of Las Cangrejeras, de Mapuche charged them with battle formation of line extended in a semicircle and horse on either wing, the riders leaping over those on foot, throwing themselves to the ground to avoid Spanish fire. They had little to fear because the rain and the wind. The fury of the mapuche assault was tremendous that the Spanish cavalry turned and fled, leaving eighty infantry men, who were overrun straightway. The men all stood their ground, fighting- most of them dying. Lientur an Indian leader interpose to save Nuñes life and he fall prisoner of the mapuches.

According to Hassig (1988, pag. 114), "Taking captives was extremely important to the social, military, and political aspirations of the warrior." A warrior gained honors only when he had captured his fourth enemy soldier on the field of battle. However, the price of failure was harsh. The warrior had only two or three campaigning seasons in which to capture a prisoner. The punishment for failure was loss of his warrior status for the next one or two campaigning seasons.

The Spanish technique did not improve during the years at war with the Mapuches and this resulted in a great advantage and superiority in techniques and armory by the Mapuches. The Spanish were forced to sign a treaty in Quillin(30) on January 6, 1641, endorsing their failure to defeat the Mapuche people. As a result with this treaty, Spain recognized the independence of the Mapuche nation. The sovereignty of the Mapuche within their territory south of the Bio-Bio was clearly acknowledged in its provisions by affirming that not Spanish forces could enter Indigenous territory. It was agreed that the Bio-Bio River was the border(31).

The Chilean professor José Aylwin (1999)(32) state that, it was not only through the parlamentos, but also through warfare, that the Mapuche were able to maintain their independent from the Spanish conquerors until the end of the colonial regime. We can conclude by affirming that although the Spanish were not able to finish their conquest campaign throughout all of the territory of Chile, they would alter the existence of indigenous people who live there forever. When one investigate the devastating consequences that Spanish conquest had for indigenous people of Chile and Mexico, among these commonalties are that they were reduce to the category of servants and slaves, savages or barbarian of an inferior nature. These peoples were depicted by the newcomers as infidels or pagans, peoples without law or order. Another difference existing between Chile and Mexico is that, on the contrary the Spanish in Mexico never recognized the independence of the Aztec Nation because the failure of the Aztec to defeat the Spanish's army and the Tlatcalan allies. A major strategy in Aztec warfare was to capture rather than to kill the enemy. The offensive weapons of the Aztec included bow and arrows, darts, spears, slings, swords, clubs and atlatls, and spear-throwers, used to throw "darts" with greater force and longer distance than spears could be hand thrown (Steward, 1946, page 730). Defensive weapons, included body armor, helmets, and shields. The Aztec's main offensive arms were projectile weapons and shock weapons such as spears and clubs. Aztec army generally tried to surround the enemy and assail it from all sides. Attacking the flank while engaged in a frontal assault was practice. They took advantage of their numerical superiority envelope the enemy troops and cut them from of reinforcement and re-supply. The Aztec did not use firearms and cavalry at all in warfare. For this reason the cannon as well as cavalry were very effective weaponry for the Spanish, but not decisive factors in the outcome of the war(33). The Aztec minimized the use of the horse in combat by chosen the terrain in which they have to fight the Spaniards in the end of the war, but they also did not come up with new weaponry as the Mapuche did. Most of the Aztecs advantages were not gained through offensive measures, but rather through defensive techniques.

As the city was built in the middle of the lake, Cortes ordered the building of thirteen brigantines for himself he keep the command of the flotilla, each one of which carried twenty-five Spaniards and twelve native rowers. Cortez decided to attack the city from three sides and divided his forces into three groups, entrusting the command of each of these forces to his lieutenants, Pedro de Alvarado, Gonzalo de Sandoval, and Cristobal de Oleda. The Spanish forces numbered one hundred and eighty-four arquebusiers, crossbowmen, and men-at arm, eighty-six horsemen, eighteen artillery pieces, and a tremendous display of native's allies.

(Hassid, 1988, pag. 238-250): "Eventually, the combined pressure of the enemy forces, the gradual destruction of Tenochtitlan, the starvation of the city's populace, and the smallpox epidemic recently introduced into the capitol led to the final defeat. On August 13, 1521, after three months of combat, King Cuauhtemoc was captured as he tried to flee the city by canoe."
The Aztecs were generally unsuccessful against the Spaniards because they were unable to improvise and come out with new military techniques. Having converted many potential enemies into allies, the Spaniards and their Tlaxcaltec allies converted neighboring cities from Tezcoco. Without internal support the Spaniards could not have defeated the Aztecs. The Spanish casualties in Mexico were only 160 soldiers(34).

But in Chile the Spaniards allies were the Picunches Indian and Yanaconas from Peru and the cost to the Spanish army during the Araucanian war was around 50. 000 soldier and an estimate 60. 000 indios auxiliaries casualties of war (the web, Rehue, 1998). According to Spanish historian who recognize that the Spanish's loss in soldier and resources in Chile was greater than losses through all other conquests throughout the Americas combined. The mapuches losses are unknown, according to Berdichewsky (1975, pag. 15): the indecisive and bloody warfare between Spaniards and Mapuches. Which earned the captaincy-general of Chile the epitaph cementerio de Los Españoles, the Spanish soldier's cemetery of the Americas.

Sergio Villalobos(35), a historian, has portrayed the colonial period as one where peace largely prevailed over war in the frontier. According to his interpretation, the Mapuche were defeated by the Spanish not by war, which only occurred initially, but mainly trough a process of assimilation by the Spanish relation, mission and their blending with Spanish settlers.

In addition to the losses in the battlefield the Aztecs and Mapuche People also suffered the effect of the diseases such as yellow fewer, measles and smallpox against which the Aztecs and Mapuches had not defense. The effect of the diseases caused major epidemic throughout the Americas.

The arrival of the Spanish conqueror in the America drastically altered their lives forever. The imposition of the encomienda system, Indigenous population decimation, enslavement, domination of Indigenous peoples and dispossession of their land and resources. This, as if this lands were empty or vacant, or as if the peoples living in them were unable of governing themselves. Differents doctrines, including discovery and terra nullius, were used by Spain to justify the appropriation of Indigenous lands. In accordance with the papal bulls, Spanish conqueror claimed dominium over the lands and the people they found in the new world.

Another commonality in both colonial Chile and Mexico was the effort to convert Indigenous population into Christianity. War, torture, mistreatment, disease, did nothing to make the Mapuche change their minds.

Notwithstanding the commonalities underline above, important differences can be found:

1 - Cultures which agree with the Conquistador discourse or paradigms imposed by Euro centric thinking-Dispossession and domination, conversion to Christianity, intermarriage, large mixed blood population, assimilation for (example Aztec and Inca);
2 - And cultures, which don't agree with the conquistador, discourse because they don't have platforms understanding with the Spanish forces "Plataforma de Entendimiento" con el invasor. (War, autonomy, conflict and confrontation, disappeared, fierce resistance, for example, Mapuches.)



CONCLUSION

Although in fighting skills and bravery the Aztecs were very similar to the Mapuches, Aztec culture and societal beliefs were very different from the Mapuches. This contrast in beliefs and societal systems lead to different outcomes in the wars against the Spaniards. The Aztecs were easily defeated because they had a centralized system, in which there was an emperor and a capital city. This system was based on a class society similar to that of the Spaniards, whereas the Mapuche system was the opposite. There was no class, no central figure or city and therefore the whole nation made its livelihood through warfare. When the main chief was killed a new one was elected to continue the fight. An essential weakness of Spanish occupation was its desperate need of peace. Exploitation of this weakness became a foundation of Mapuche strategy. Whenever the Indian found it advantageous to themselves to live in peace -weather because of famine or disease or military weakness- they willingly surrendered themselves to temporarily armistice. During the 350 years of war with the Mapuches, the Spaniards military techniques did not evolve. They began and ended the war with the same use of the horse cavalry and were very soon at a disadvantage against the Mapuche who had created superior military techniques. The Mapuche army did not just become even with the Spanish army but they became far superior. Compared to the Spanish armor, Mapuche armor, made of leather and with helmets, was much more efficient. The Mapuche developed techniques to resist the Spanish cavalry and were undefeatable. The Spaniards underestimated the Mapuche power and thought they had similar ideas and techniques to other tribes such as the Incas and the Aztecs. The Mapuches eventually defeated the Spaniards, but the outcome of the Spanish war with the Aztecs was quite different. This was a result of the lack of innovation by the Aztecs during war. Most of the innovative tactics adopted were static, however; the Spaniard had to be drawn into an appropriate position or maneuver (feints).

It is true that cannon, guns, steel blades, horses play a roll to the advantages on the Spanish side; but it was not an overwhelming factor in the defeated of the Aztec.
Another factor was also the different way of thinking, socialization, cultural adaptation of the Mapuche people play a roll in the outcome of the war.

In 1883 the Chilean army assumed total control of the Araucania, ending up with Mapuche political and territorial autonomy. Despite the general Mapuche uprising, on November 5, 1881, the Mapuches arose one last time in a general insurrection. According to José Bengoa(36), a prominent Chilean historian, it was the first time in their entire history that all the groups of the very decentralized Mapuche Nation had joined in a single insurrection. They did not engage in this act to secure their political and military independence -that was now lost beyond recovery. As Bengoa notice, "the Mapuche knew perfectly well that they were going to lose and that the majority of them would die in this general uprising." So why did they make the last stand? Once again, to quote Bengoa, the last insurrection was "a cultural imperative"(37) that compel (the Mapuches) to appear with their lances, in front of the huinca forts and cities and say: "We are still an independent people and we will cease to be such only in a ritual act of combat and death."

In addition to, the Argentine army in the Pampas defeated Namuncura in 1883,which was known as the "desert war". The Argentinean government occupies the Mapuche territory of the Pampas and the Patagonia. In 1883, in Patagonia, both armies finally defeated the Mapuche people, and many were place in reservations.

We can conclude by assert, that although the Spanish Conquistador's were not able to finish their Conquest throughout all of the territory of Chile, they distorted their lives forever, the impact of the colonial regimen in Chile and Mexico was overwhelming due to the impact that disease brought by the Spaniard, or mistreatment by the colonists, had on them. As a consequence of their fusion and cultural assimilation with the dominant population.



Edited by pinguin - 25 Jul 2009 at 05:06
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2009 at 17:51
I can't help but note the parallel between the Mapuches and North America's Comanches. Though the Comanche did not receive horses until the early 1700s. It's also interesting that the last uprisings in both South and North America occurred nearly at the same time, i.e., when the Ghost Dance craze swept through the northern Great Plains in the 1880s. The Ghost Dance, however, was supposed to make the Whites disappear, and render Native Americans invulnerable to bullets. One wonders if a Mapuche version of the "Ghost Dance" swept through Southern Chile and Argentina, making the same claims.

As for being the "greatest warriors", that is purely a subjective judgment more appropriate for modern nationalist theories. It echoes claims by some of our military leaders that we have the "finest armed forces" in the world. Well, certainly among the most powerful, but "finest" carries connotations of proven superiority in multiple spheres that have yet to be proven. Ditto for "greatest warriors". It suffices that they were merely the better of two (or more if an alliance) at a certain time and place. 
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Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

I can't help but note the parallel between the Mapuches and North America's Comanches. Though the Comanche did not receive horses until the early 1700s. It's also interesting that the last uprisings in both South and North America occurred nearly at the same time, i.e., when the Ghost Dance craze swept through the northern Great Plains in the 1880s. The Ghost Dance, however, was supposed to make the Whites disappear, and render Native Americans invulnerable to bullets. One wonders if a Mapuche version of the "Ghost Dance" swept through Southern Chile and Argentina, making the same claims.

Mapuches were of a very special kind. They were a practical people, and very little supersticious.
They understood the Spaniards very well, and they addopted theirs military tactics before surpassing them. A single data is important. They killed more Spaniards than all the rest of Spaniards that died in battle in the Americas.
 
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:


As for being the "greatest warriors", that is purely a subjective judgment more appropriate for modern nationalist theories. It echoes claims by some of our military leaders that we have the "finest armed forces" in the world. Well, certainly among the most powerful, but "finest" carries connotations of proven superiority in multiple spheres that have yet to be proven. Ditto for "greatest warriors". It suffices that they were merely the better of two (or more if an alliance) at a certain time and place. 
 
In this case, they were better warriors and period. A people that was able to stand the European invasion at hand during 350 years, fighting quite often, deserve to be recognized for what they were. Few people worldwide managed to stop Europeans. Not the Indians (of India), the Chinese, the Arabs or the Africans opposed the necesary resistence for too long. Mapuches did, and having nothing but theirs will.
 
 
 
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Indeed, in this case, they were better warriors and period, for instance " From the book "

The Grand Araucanian Wars 1541-1883, in the Kingdom of Chile

 Eduardo Agustin Cruz - 20 April 2008

Spanish Cavalry: Horses were particularly useful in the 16th century as a weapon of war for the conquistadors. When these Spanish warriors came to the Americas and conquered the Aztec and Inca empires, horses and gunpowder provided a crucial advantage. Because the horse had been extinct in the Western Hemisphere for approximately 10,000 years, the Indigenous peoples of the Americas had no warfare technologies that could overcome the considerable advantage provided by European horses and weapons. Ever since the conquest, historians have perplexed over one question in particular.

How did so few Spanish manage to conquer such a huge territory and so many people? Even today, the answers to this question are diverse contested, and are highly dependent on the perspective one accept.

The Mapuches accomplished what the mighty Aztec and Inca empires failed so overwhelming to do- to preserve their independence and keep the Spanish invaders at bay. The Mapuche infantry played a vital role in the Araucanians war, from the initial of the conquest in 1541 to 1883. The Mapuche Infantry, taking full advantage of Terrain forest, mountains peaks, and swiftly running rivers made every Spanish advance difficult and costly. The cost to the Spanish army during the campaign of the “Araucanian war “were around 50.000 soldiers, and an estimate 60.000 auxiliaries Indians killed. In letter of 1664 to the king of Spain, Jorge Leguía y Lumbe informed that in Chile " until then 29,000 Spaniards had died in the war and more than 60,000 auxiliaries Indians" (letter reproduced by Ricardo E. Latcham: La capacidad guerrera de los antiguos Araucanos, p.39, Santiago, 1915).

Because Valdivia had burned their villages, because he had ignored their pleas for mercy for women and children, because Valdivia sent to cut the noses and the right hand to four hundred mutilated prisoners, because his cruelty increased with his successes, the Mapuches unleash an attacked him with unbelievable savagery.

Don Pedro de Valdivia, governor of the kingdom of Chile a distinguished member of the Spanish Tercios[1], was a member of the military order of the Knights of Santiago, had an abundant military experience in Europe, in the service of Carlos V, in its fight with the French, In Flanders fought under the order of Enrique Nassau. Pedro de Valdivia and the entire Spanish forces perished in Chile in1553, they were no survivors. (and the 2500 Auxiliaries Indian)

The goals of this book: this paper has three goals:

  • To provide an overview of the military aspects weaponry, armory, the horse, and tactic, strategy facing the Mapuches; at the beginning of the Spanish conquest.
  • To provide an overview, of the military superiority enjoyed, by the Spanish army, in addition, the role of the Auxiliary Indian.
  • To point out how, by military innovations, and adaptation in the face of Araucanians war, the Mapuches managed to resist Spanish military campaigns, for over 300 years.

The book analyses, the military response to the Spanish conquest, of the Mapuches of Chile. The role of the Mapuche infantry, and cavalry: [2]

According to Ignatius Molina[3], at present, the army of the Mapuches is composed of both cavalry and infantry. The army initially consisted entirely of foot soldiers; but in their first battles with the Spaniards, perceiving the vast advantage derived by their enemies from the employment of cavalry. They soon applied themselves to procure a good breed of horses; insomuch that in 1568, only seventeen years after their first encountering with the Spaniards. The Mapuches had several squadrons of cavalry; and by the year 1585, the Araucanian cavalry was regularly organized by the toquis Nancunahuel and Codehuala.

The Mapuche infantry divided into regiments of a thousand men, and these into ten companies of an hundred men each. The cavalry divided in a similar manner; but the numbers in the regiments and army troops are not always the same. Each body of horse and foot has its particular standard; but all bear a star, which is the national device of the Indians. The soldiers are not clothed in uniforms, but all have cuirasses of hardened leather below their ordinary dresses, with shields and helmets of the same material. The cavalry armed with swords and lances; and the infantry with pikes, bow and arrow and clubs pointed with iron.

Mapuche Unit

Strength

Possible Western Equivalents.

5- 10-20

25

Section-Squad- Corporals

20-60

25-60 2+

quads, sections- Platoon (warrant officer and first or

second lieutenant (each platoon three sections)

160-250

To Change

Squadron-cavalry divided into companies of about 100

men who commanded by captains as well as by officers Spanish cavalry ranks was no more than 60 horsemen, it was usually deploy it in three ranks that is 180 men and horse.

100-

100

Company (each company of three platoons)

500-

500-1000

Battalion or battalion (each regiment ten companies)

To change-

2500-15.000

Each Regiment, ten companies (each brigade four regiments or battalions)

3000 to 80.000[4]

20.000-100.000

Army Division (each division three brigades)

To change

42.000

Army corps (each corps should contains three division, at least four regiments of cavalry, eight to twelve batteries)

The western equivalents are relative; their definition depends on the era and country of organization. It is important to clarify, to those who have not served in an infantry battalion; the complexities of its internal organization must remain largely unsuspected. Apparently, it appears to be a mass of undistinguished soldiers. In actuality, a Regiment is an organism of complex internal sophistication.

Canadian regiment for example (1939-1945) was composed of roughly nine hundred men and officers. There were four rifle companies, each consisting of three platoons; each platoon composed of three sections of ten men led by a corporal. These companies called Able, Baker, Charlie, and Dog, and they were the striking force. After a company, come a battalion and then a brigade, next a division, finally the corps.

As Bonilla illustrated in page 99.In principle in the beginning of the conquest the Mapuche army was of around 80,000 men, that would go gradually diminishing by the effects of the fight, the hunger and the plagues, until the times would arrive in which to join 3000 warriors was a prodigy.

To compare the Mapuche Infantry army with one of the days of 1888, we quote very comprehensive calculations of Harry Pratt Judson, Cesar’s Army page 51. These are conservative estimates. Supposed we take as a maximum figure and army corps composed all told of a corps of 42.000 men. Were it able to march close up, on a single road, it would stretch out, at the least calculations, about eighteen miles. If roads were all broad enough and in good condition in Chile, columns could march with a far greater front, and the depth be vastly reduced. Except that in Chile in the Araucanians territory at least, there is no roads. There is jungle terrain, mountains where there is room for a column of greater width than a set of fours to move and leave sufficient space.

The Mapuche army marched on columns depended the number of men, on different columns- different roads. The marched to vary or decided according to the circumstances.

Defensive Arms

For protection, the Mapuche wore helmets and coats of sealskin or whalebone and carried thick skin shields. Ercilla[5] mentions them wearing armor; in 1603 "strong double corselets, completely made of leather and something like a skirt (sayete - a halberd?). Which is more commonly used, even if its usage is more recent: greaves poldrons (shoulder plates), cuysses (thigh pieces), vambraces (fore-arm armor), gantlets, gorgestts and morions armbands, throat guards, and caps of diverse forms, made of hard leather which not even sharp steel can damage” This armor was supplemented by that taken from the Spanish.

Under normal circumstance, Mapuche infantry in line were helpless against Spanish cavalry and could be massacred, as happened in the beginner of the conquest. Their only protection was the square, a bristling hedge of pikes impenetrable, to form square quickly demanded some precision, and they forts.

The Mapuche’s fortifications or pucará the Mapuche call Malal, were perfect from the militarily point of view.[6]

  1. Clear view in front Vanguard
  2. Obstacles or impediment, trenching in front
  3. At least one flank support
  4. Free communication in the whole line of combat
  5. Communication with the rear of the army.

R. B. 1926 Cunningham Graham state in the preface of his book Pedro de Valdivia. “No other Indians warred for hundred years against their conquerors, adopting all the tactics of their enemies, their horses, and their arms. None of the races that the Spaniard ever encountered in the Americas had such highly disciplined and well-drilled forces. None were so chivalrous, and none gained the respect and admiration of their enemies, as did the Araucanians“. All the authorities, Ercilla, Gongora de Marmolejo, Bascuñan, and Figueroa, speak of them in term of admiration. Traditionally it accepted that a defending force has a 3:1 advantage over an attacker. In other words, a defending force for instance the Spanish can hold off three times its own number of the Indians attackers. Imagine then, that the defensive line is four units in length, so that a single defending companies or battalion can hold each portion of the line. Assume that they can take on the oncoming Infantry on equal terms (with pre-prepared battalion artillery fire plans etc.) and that they have had time to dig in. This single unit should be able to hold of three times it own number. With the attacking force having only two Infantry units, the defenders should have the advantage. Valdivia's System of fortresses, in 1645, the Viceroy of Peru, Antonio de Toledo, Marquis of Mancera, started the execution of a patiently designed defensive plan, the fortification of Valdivia. Also known as the Key of the south sea, it is a set of fortifications placed in Corral, Niebla and Isla Mancera, At Valdivia's bay. It was one of the biggest fortifications built by the Spaniards in America. In 1655 Uprising general of the Mapuches commanded by el mestizo Alejo Puante Gutierrez the Mapuches also coordinated their rebellion with Indians Huarpe of Mendoza and San Juan. 'The Spanish Crown formally opposed the indigenous slavery, but justified if the Indians were captured in war. The Indians destroys all the Spanish settlements south of the Bio-Bio River.

-Fort Niebla is located in, northern edge of the bay. It was constructs it in 1671 and named in honour of the viceroy of Peru, Conde de Lemus; it was part of the fortification of Valdivia. When a colonial power took over an overseas territory, one of their first tasks was to build a coastal fortress, both to deter rival naval powers and to subjugate the natives.

For the Mapuches do not like the existence of Spanish forts within its territory, and therefore were subject to constant attacks and obliteration, as occurred during the Araucanians War. To destroy the fort was a strong temptation, which was latent in the Indians and a permanent invitation to attack the enemy. For instances the siege of Villarica was one the longest blockade site that covers the history of Americas. (1599 to February 1602). In the Araucanians war the sieges were common, sieges were sometimes quite formal, with the besieger’s (the Indians) heralds demanding surrender or given the besieged (the Spanish) a deadline for a decision. Depending of the strength of the fortress, fort, castle or town, the besieger might then encircled it with men, and with ditches or fence, to cut it off from food supplies and stop anyone from getting out. If the Indians had time, they could then sit and hoped to starve out the defenders, if disease did not break out in his camp first.

The Mapuche army used, circumvallation siege line to provide opposition to the besieged, circumvallation is a line of fortifications, built by the attackers around the besieged fortification facing towards the enemy fort (to protect itself from sorties by its defenders and to enhance the blockade.

Also the Mapuches used contravallation. In cases where the besieging Spanish army threatened by a field army allied to the enemy fort, the besieging army may construct a contravallation, a second line of fortifications behind the circumvallation facing away from the enemy fort. The Contravallation protected the besiegers from attacks by allies of the city's defenders and enhances the blockade of the enemy fort by making it more difficult to smuggle in supplies.

The Mapuches were accustomed to assail Spanish fortress in three ways, -by blockade, -by assault, and -and by formal siege.

  1. Blockade was used against fortress of great strength, especially if poorly provide with provisions; and further if the location allowed a completed surroundings.
  2. Assault was executed on fortress of smaller importance, with weak fortification, and artillery. Also if the fortress was well supplied with food and water. Certainly, emergencies might lead to the same method of attack on very strong fortress.
  3. Formal siege was alternative resorted to against positions that were strongly fortified and well provisioned, so that neither of the preceding methods was of advantage for the Mapuches.

Proceeding to the Spanish invasion the Mapuche people lacked the horse and did not work iron metals. Their weapons were wood, with stone edges or tips or of woven fibers or cane. The capacity of displacement of the natives by its territories increase with the used if the horse, when mobilizing itself to by foot-walking, calculated in fifty kilometers to the day, and it could hardly repeat it, by many days. The use of the horse as of transport extended its capacity 155 kilometers to the day, which could repeat changing of mount.

The Araucanian cavalry appeared in appearance formidable, well-armed special long range lances steel-spearheads (armor piercing bodking point), conducted regularly, and showing the riders, ease and no small gallantry.

The Indians charged the Spaniards shouting and striking the mouth rhythmically with the palm of the hand. The cavalry was disposed in two lines on each wing. The Spaniards were amazed of the good order kept by the Mapuche Cavalry, even when they had to beat a speedy retreat. All Mapuches warriors went to battle on horseback, but those who formed the center of the line dismounted and fought as infantry- mounted infantry while others Indians took care of theirs horses a short distance to the rear. They were very quick in their ferocious operations, of exceeding speed, and fond of surprising their enemies.

It is important to explain that their own chieftains and leaders led the natives, and historically as rules, the loss of a chief in battle produced a demoralizing effect on them. Mapuches warriors always fought extreme heroically as long as their chief was unharmed, but on many occasion a battle going well for the Natives was lost because the chief was killed or severely wounded.

One of the tactics of toqui Lientur, The feigned retreat was apparently one of the most common subterfuges employed by the Mapuches forces. But Lientur changed a little; in an unforeseen moment the Mapuches, as they had trained from Lientur, returned engaged the attackers decisively counter-attacked exceed by the flanks. The Spaniards were left surprising surrounded and pinned down, and if they cannot be helped by reinforcements, they had to fights for theirs life.

The Mapuches knew the art of attacking outflank and enveloping the rearguard of the enemy backs, to break the power of the enemy offensive, and pinned down the troops inside their fort and towns. Without allowing help to other relief enemy centers attacked. Creating logistical problems, which because of aborigines is worthy of admiration. In other part of Americas did not take advantage of attack in the rearguard of the enemy, they utilize only frontal attacks.

The vast majority of historians believe that Pelantaro historically as the second major strategist of Araucania, after Lautaro, proved a brilliant military vision, which enabled him to outline a strategic plan that had an ultimate objective to expel the Spaniards of Araucania. The general rebellion of 1598, after the disaster Curalaba meant six years of war incalculable loses that, led to the definitive end of the Spanish military power in the Araucania; both races exhausted by the long struggle. The accumulation of weapons and horses solved Mapuches logistical problems, allowed them to concentrate their forces, and launch attacks in distant places in their mobile warfare fronts of operation.

According to Bernardo Berdichewsky[7] the most important of these confrontations in the Mapuches wars were the battles at the end of the 16th century, especially in 1598 when the Indians defeated the Spanish, and destroyed seven cities: Valdivia, Angol, Osorno, Arauco, La Imperial, Santa Cruz y Villarica, and killed the Governor, Martin Garcia Oñez de Loyola. It was a total disaster for the Spanish forces.

Kollellaullin Martial art Karate of origin Mapuche, that means in mapudungun “waist of ant or power of the ant “ talking about to the physical power of this able insect of loads very superiors to its own weight. Another explanation was the state in which it was the soldier after he was place under this training, wide back with muscular torso and small waist like the one of an ant. The Kollellaullin martial arts remained a closely guarded secret. In modern’s times, it is only now that there is a general revival of interest in mastering combated techniques from this ancient Mapuche martial art.

The skilful and agile arm of the conqueror did not make indentation in the soul of steel of the Araucanians. By means of the exercises, the Indian soldiers arrive at the adult age transformed into the true soldier, in the intrepid soldier, reckless and intelligent. According to professor Vitale, from the military point of view, the Araucanian deed is an irregular war. One of the variants of this war is the combined mobile warfare with the rural war of guerillas. The Araucanians war was a mobile warfare, because, great masses of Indians attacked and they moved, to enormous distances, as the Spaniards attested who admired of the rapidity whereupon the Mapuches concentrated and dispersed. This mobile warfare combined with some tactics of the war of guerillas; in the majority of the cases, nevertheless, it is not essentially war of guerillas. The basic thing is a not small group of guerilla Indians. The guerilla is to the service of the mobile warfare of great masses of Indians who attack and they move, essential characteristic of the military fight of the Mapuches. The mobile warfare advocate, the content of which is quick-decision offensive warfare on exterior lines in campaigns and battles, includes positional warfare in a supplementary role, "mobile defense" and retreat, without all of which mobile warfare cannot fully carry out.

The Araucanians war would not have managed to stay ignited without the current arrived of human contingents from Peru and Spain, and the necessary military equipments and the indispensable money to finance them. It was not, then, one war in which the conquering society only participated, already the Spanish state contribution was being gradually elevated, insofar as the internal incapacity, or the lack of interest of the Chilean encomenderos, it increased.

The successful resistance of the Mapuches caused the Spanish crown great apprehension and cost a large amount of money required for supplies and troops, which have to dispatch to save Chile, it colony. Not only did the Spaniards fail to conquer the Mapuche, they had to conceive an effective, and expensive, means of preventing their being overrun by them.

The Spanish advantage in the technology of war was, in fact, a vital factor in their striking military victories in the beginners of the conquest. Explosive shells or bombs were known by the end of the 16th century. Smaller cannons, that fired nails and scrap iron in canvas bags, positioned in front of the infantry. Which decimated the Indians Infantry ranks costing heavy casualty?

It’s important to highlight that steel armor and shield magnified the advantages of Spanish slashing and thrusting weapons and permitted greater aggressiveness in close combat by the Spanish conquerors. Harquebusiers were superior to Indians missile weapons in range and lethality. According to Professor Jose Bengoa, he quoted for Lenz; the plains Pampas served also as the great initiatory test for reaching maturity as a man and a fighter;” going to Argentina to settle" was the best challenge to strengthen the soul, exorcising the fear and make bold nod to the powerful death. Inclusively, there came into existence a magical place named Kuramalal, house of stone) was a cave site of rites of passage, which crowned the previous tests had exceeded the warrior. Under the protection of supernatural beings, "it seems that there can be the gift of being invulnerable." We are in the presence of a military society and the sacred of the war. The educational aspect of these rites of transition is to communicate some secret information concerning supernatural beings, whose mission is to govern the universe. (Melville Herzkovitz.) Nahuelchen expect something similar, and it seems that he want to move with his friend, the song of Nahuelchen states.

Song Nahuelchen.

Brother, my dear brother,
Let’s go to Curamalal,
Let’s extract remedy from the portal
Then, then we shall be valiant
Brother of mine, dear one,
If we extract the remedy from the portal,
Then we shall be valiant,
Brother of mine, dear one. In Bengoa, pp102

As we already described, from the middle 19th century onward, technology changed the face of battle. Weapons achieved accuracy when barrels were rifled (cut with spiralling grooves) and rate of fire increased with breech loading (back loading). Black powder was replaced by smokeless powder, and new high explosives enhance the effect of shells. Machine guns developed into mobile weapons, which provided the concentrated firepower of infantry. It took the Chilean army some time to assimilate the effect of the new technology, but the firepower revolution eventually changed tactics and strategy in how to fight a war.

The Chilean army defeated military both countries, Peru and Bolivia, and then concentrate on to converge on the Mapuches with the new military technology. The Chilean army utilization of coordinated technologies - including the railways and the telegraph permitted to defeat the Mapuches forces in 1883. Though the telegraph permitted the Chilean army to be controlled even when they were hundred and thousand of kilometers apart. The railroads therefore allowed distribute the transport of troops and their supplies to Mapuche territory. Defeat that explained not by the weakness of Mapuches as combatants, but by the inferiority of its arms in front of the technology of rifles of repetition and modern artillery. -Up till now, on November 5, 1881, the Mapuches arose one last time in a general insurrection. According to José Bengoa, it was the first time in their entire history that all the groups of the very decentralized Mapuche had joined in a single insurrection. They did not engage in this act to secure their political and military independence -that was now lost beyond recovery. As Bengoa notes, 'the Mapuche knew perfectly well that they were going to lose and that the majority of them would die in this general insurrection.' So why did they make the effort? The last insurrection was 'a cultural imperative that obligated (the Mapuches) to appear with their lances, in front of the huinca fortress the Mapuche word for non-Indians forts and cities and say: We are still an independent people and we will cease to be such only in a ritual act of combat and death.'

____________________________

1.     Bonilla Tomas 1988. La gran guerra Mapuche. TT.GG. Instituto Geográfico Militar de Chile. Printed in Chile. Tomo I-. See page 69.

2.     Strategy is the art of distributing and applying military means, such as armed forces and supplies, to fulfill the ends of policy. Tactics means the dispositions for, and control of, military forces and techniques in actual fighting’s.

3.     The Abbe Don J Ignatius Molina.1809. The Geographical, Natural, and Civil History of Chile. Vol II. Printed for Longman, Hurst, Bees, and Orme. Paternoster Row page 71-72.

4.     Ibíd. Bonilla, page 99 tomo I

5.     Ercilla Alonzo. La Araucana. 1993. Ediciones Cátedra. Madrid. Hereafter cite. Page 84 Chapter I

6.     Téllez I.1944 Una Raza Militar ( hereinafter Téllez )

7.     Berdichewsky Bernardo 1975. Abipon,” “Ashluslay”, Araucanians. Three South American Indian Tribes. Library of congress cataloging in publication data. USA.

____________________________

Copyright@ Eduardo Agustin Cruz
Dirección de email:
eduardcf@telus.net
Sitio:
http://www2.xlibris.com/THEGRANDARAUCANIANWARSINTHEKINGDOMOFCHILE
 http://www.eduardoacruz.com/index.htm

Source: http://www.tuobra.unam.mx/vistaObra.html?obra=2123

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2011 at 00:45
Hello Pelantaro (bright falcon, in Mapudungun, the name of a famous Mapuche chief). I bet you are a Chilean, like myself.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2011 at 14:41
The Indigenous Peoples of Latin America, historically they were defeated military fairly completely before the outsiders of European origin. Except for the indigenous Peoples of Chile the Mapuches they were the only one in this continent to defeat a European army; and for 350 years keep they autonomy of they territory. The failures of the most civilized cultures in this continent like the Incas and the Aztec to oppose a serious military resistance is evident in retrospect, the Aztec resisted for three years - the Mapuches for 350 years of successful resistance - The Incas of Peru for instance, succumbed without a struggle; Peru was one of the easiest conquest the Spaniards ever made, there does not seem to have been one pitched battle in the field between the Spaniards and the Inca's armies. In a short time the Spanish conquered the only two civilized region of the New World: the Aztec Empire of Mexico, conquered by Cortes in 1521, and the empire of Peru, conquered by Pizarro in 1531-1533. They did it with few casualty in Combat.
 
An editor, an editor! My kingdom for an editor! Transcription and insertion of these articles hardly constitutes evidence for discussion, summation and simple links would have sufficed. Further the simplifications accepted as factual in order to establish Araucaunian hagiography depends entirely upon misrepresentation of historical events on a continental basis!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2011 at 15:53
Pelantaro, you lost my interest with your first quote, fro Cruz:

"Spanish Cavalry: Horses were particularly useful in the 16th century as a weapon of war for the conquistadors. When these Spanish warriors came to the Americas and conquered the Aztec and Inca empires, horses and gunpowder provided a crucial advantage. Because the horse had been extinct in the Western Hemisphere for approximately 10,000 years, the Indigenous peoples of the Americas had no warfare technologies that could overcome the considerable advantage provided by European horses and weapons."

Simply put, the use of the horse in war does not equate to Cavalry. The Spanish in America used the horse as a means of transport, but their fighting tactics were that of infantry. In simple terms,. the Spanish had reinvented the Roman Legion under the guise of the Tercios, later renamed Regiments. And the backbone of the tercios was the Spanish infantry soldier. Cavalry are trained for mobile warfare, both as an assault force, andas reconnaissance and scouting forces. Horse mounted infantry ride their horses to the approximate scene of battle, and dismount to fight. The two are not the same, but Cruz apparently is ignorant of that fact. For the record, the role of the U.S. Cavalry from the Civil War through the Indian Wars was that of mounted infantry, despite their historical designations. True cavalry may have existed in such places as Argentina, Uruguay, and perhaps Chile, but I would bet that their development came along after the 16th Century, and that they were confined to roles such as the Governor General's guard force (hence an anti-coup force), frontier surveillance in pampa and remote regions, and as reconnaissance and scouting forces.

As for the 350 years if Mapuche 'independence', I would point out the the indigenous inhabitants of all the remote regions of the Americas could make the same claim. It took time to people to continent with Europeans. Indeed, cannot some remote tribes of today's Amazonia claim a longer period of 'resistance', principally for the same reasons.

Chile is a fascinating country, but claims that the Mapuches were superior or 'better; than the Comanche, or Lakota, or any other plains or prairie indigenous light cavalry is mere boasting. The Mapuche may have received the horse first, but the others were highly respected in their time. And, as regards the Apache of the Southwestern U.S. desert, note that their tactics were those of mounted infantry, not plains cavalry.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2011 at 16:55
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:


Simply put, the use of the horse in war does not equate to Cavalry. The Spanish in America used the horse as a means of transport, but their fighting tactics were that of infantry. In simple terms,. the Spanish had reinvented the Roman Legion under the guise of the Tercios, later renamed Regiments. And the backbone of the tercios was the Spanish infantry soldier. Cavalry are trained for mobile warfare, both as an assault force, andas reconnaissance and scouting forces. Horse mounted infantry ride their horses to the approximate scene of battle, and dismount to fight. The two are not the same, but Cruz apparently is ignorant of that fact. For the record, the role of the U.S. Cavalry from the Civil War through the Indian Wars was that of mounted infantry, despite their historical designations. True cavalry may have existed in such places as Argentina, Uruguay, and perhaps Chile, but I would bet that their development came along after the 16th Century, and that they were confined to roles such as the Governor General's guard force (hence an anti-coup force), frontier surveillance in pampa and remote regions, and as reconnaissance and scouting forces.


Where did you get shuch ridiculous observation? Spaniards unmounting to fight? Of course most of the soldiers were foot soldiers, but the ones that had horses fought on the horse, obviously.

Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:


As for the 350 years if Mapuche 'independence', I would point out the the indigenous inhabitants of all the remote regions of the Americas could make the same claim. It took time to people to continent with Europeans. Indeed, cannot some remote tribes of today's Amazonia claim a longer period of 'resistance', principally for the same reasons


Again, that's not true. Mapuches weren't "remote" people but lived at the center of Spanish territories, cutting the colonial lands in half.


Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:


Chile is a fascinating country, but claims that the Mapuches were superior or 'better; than the Comanche, or Lakota, or any other plains or prairie indigenous light cavalry is mere boasting. The Mapuche may have received the horse first, but the others were highly respected in their time. And, as regards the Apache of the Southwestern U.S. desert, note that their tactics were those of mounted infantry, not plains cavalry.


As it happens, Mapuches may have not been better than Lakotas, but they fought a lot longer and againsts all odds.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2011 at 17:56
Ah now we get to the nitty gritty...our Indians are better than your Indians! of course we could go into Chilean politics here and the desperate need for hagiography:
 
 
Response to slanderous and insulting comments in the Newspaper El Mercurio, Santiago, Chile
 
As for Spanish colonial attitudes well there is surprising homogeneity when it comes to the chichimecas [OK that's Nahuatl], if they do not intefere with political and economic realities leave well enough alone specially if there is no economic gain on the horizon. To elaborate all sorts of pseudo-technical explanations is actually a refusal to recognize the vibrancy of colonial policies when it came to potential headaches requiring the expenditure of money!
 
We will all have to excuse the Penguin's geographic hyperbole:
 
Mapuches weren't "remote" people but lived at the center of Spanish territories, cutting the colonial lands in half.

 
Say what? Bring out the maps...
 
 
 


Edited by drgonzaga - 13 Jul 2011 at 21:06
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2011 at 17:59
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Ah now we get to the nitty gritty...our Indians are better than your Indians! of course we could go into Chilean politics..


Please don't confusse Chileans with the small parasyte elite that is in power, and that one day we will crush like the cochraches they are.

And, certainly, our Indians are better than the rest. Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2011 at 21:25
Penguin, in re your: "Where did you get shuch ridiculous observation? Spaniards unmounting to fight? Of course most of the soldiers were foot soldiers, but the ones that had horses fought on the horse, obviously."

There is nothing obvious about such a statement. We have the horse, ergo, we must fight on horseback.

I got those misbegotten ideas from reading Prescott, and here I admit that I recall his conquest of Mexico far better than his book on Peru. But, as he made plain in the History of the Conquest of Mexico, the few horses brought along were used by the conquistadors to command and control their troops. I.e., riding them amidst their own Spaniards or Indian allies, and directing the fight. They also did have a limited use for influencing a fight, however it did not take the Mexican Indians long to figure out how to unseat and kill an exposed horseman, as we have previously discussed.

They also came from my readings as a professional Armor (Cavalry) officer who was also parachute and special forces qualified. In European Armies, Cavalry could be divided between light (chasseurs, lancers, hussars) and heavy cavalry (dragoons and cuirassiers), the first for reconnaissance, screening, etc, and the second for heavier screening and mounted assault. In the United States, Cavalry only became important one we moved onto the Great Plains, and even there, as noted, what were designated Cavalry units in reality fought as mounted infantry, where the horse was primarily a means of transport. This is not to say that mounted actions weren't fought, but they were the exception. And when a mounted force met a dismounted force of similar size, they usually ended up loosing (ergo the poor performance of Federal Cavalry against Confederate Cavalry during the early years of the Civil War).  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2011 at 23:01
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:



I got those misbegotten ideas from reading Prescott, and here I admit that I recall his conquest of Mexico far better than his book on Peru. But, as he made plain in the History of the Conquest of Mexico, the few horses brought along were used by the conquistadors to command and control their troops. I.e., riding them amidst their own Spaniards or Indian allies, and directing the fight. They also did have a limited use for influencing a fight, however it did not take the Mexican Indians long to figure out how to unseat and kill an exposed horseman, as we have previously discussed.

They also came from my readings as a professional Armor (Cavalry) officer who was also parachute and special forces qualified. In European Armies, Cavalry could be divided between light (chasseurs, lancers, hussars) and heavy cavalry (dragoons and cuirassiers), the first for reconnaissance, screening, etc, and the second for heavier screening and mounted assault. In the United States, Cavalry only became important one we moved onto the Great Plains, and even there, as noted, what were designated Cavalry units in reality fought as mounted infantry, where the horse was primarily a means of transport. This is not to say that mounted actions weren't fought, but they were the exception. And when a mounted force met a dismounted force of similar size, they usually ended up loosing (ergo the poor performance of Federal Cavalry against Confederate Cavalry during the early years of the Civil War).  


I think Prescot is wrong. In the long centuries in battles between Spaniards and Mapuches, the first never lacked horses, and they always fought on them. Even more, pretty early Mapuches addapted horses as well, and combated Spaniards in the same manner.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2011 at 09:16
Hardly ever heard of Mapuche before entering AE. I think Eduardo A. Cruz Farias is an excellent example of "what we have is want I want":
Quote During the 350 years of war with the Mapuches, the Spaniards military techniques did not evolve. They began and ended the war with the same use of the horse cavalry and were very soon at a disadvantage against the Mapuche who had created superior military techniques.
More than three hundred years and Spain did nothing in terms of military improvement?!?!? How the hell there is still a Spanish Kingdom in Europe?
Quote
The Mapuche army did not just become even with the Spanish army but they became far superior. Compared to the Spanish armor, Mapuche armor, made of leather and with helmets, was much more efficient. The Mapuche developed techniques to resist the Spanish cavalry and were undefeatable.
Machine guns, CAS, and let's not forget the mapunukes. 
Quote The Spaniards underestimated the Mapuche power and thought they had similar ideas and techniques to other tribes such as the Incas and the Aztecs.
Maybe they were after easy ca$h rather than domination. The conquest of the Mapuche region was perhaps etsimated as not being so rewarding. Spain was not just in Chile.
Quote  The Mapuches eventually defeated the Spaniards, but the outcome of the Spanish war with the Aztecs was quite different.
Oh, they defeated Spaind and adopted Christianity and the Spanish language. Oh wait, no, it was Chilean Catholicism and Chilean Spanish. Yes, Spain was defeated by the Mapuche.
Quote This was a result of the lack of innovation by the Aztecs during war. Most of the innovative tactics adopted were static, however; the Spaniard had to be drawn into an appropriate position or maneuver (feints).
Those stupid Aztecs, no R&D. They should have hastily gather their inventors (plenty of them) and generals and began a thourough weapons and military doctrine development. While at the same time fighting the conquistadores&tlaxcalan, the diseases and the various rebellions throuought their empire.
 
I've read about the Arauco War account on wiki. I've read about the Spanish conquest of Mexico on some books. The use of these two different events to draw the conclusion that Maps are better than Aztz is a perfect example of what Dr. G had expressed in the thread regarding comparative history.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2011 at 13:46
Mapuches never accepted catholicism. In fact, theirs hobby was to hijack nuns and convince them to desist in theirs superstition to become moms. With respect to Mapuches and guns, of course they had them. Firearms weren't unknown among native peoples at the 19th century. Ask Custer.
Spain was defeated by Latin American independency movement, and Spain was beated badly.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2011 at 14:34
Penguin, the nice thing about AE is that we can agree to disagree and remain cyber buddies. In the end, we all have a right to our own superstitions, though that of some members is more apparent than others,

Custer lost the battle, but the Lakota lost the war. Also, regarding Spain's loss of Latin America, today is the 14th of July (le 14 juillet dans la Hexagone). The Legion is marching by the Arc de Triomphe, the crowds are applauding, and I suyspect that the Chilean ambassador is somewhere in the official delegation, waiting to deposit his wreath on behalf of the Chilean nation. Well he might, because if it hadn't been for Napoleon's invasion of Spain, you might today be singing 'Cara al sol' and saluting the red and gold (trigo) banner of Spain.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2011 at 16:34
Yes, but at least Lakotas killed Custer. That act was a contribution to the progress of mankind.
You should know our independence heroes fought against the French in Spain. That was the trainning.
And don't talk me about the French. They couldn't stop Germans and they got freedom back for free.


Edited by pinguin - 14 Jul 2011 at 16:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2011 at 20:40
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Mapuches never accepted catholicism. In fact, theirs hobby was to hijack nuns and convince them to desist in theirs superstition to become moms. With respect to Mapuches and guns, of course they had them. Firearms weren't unknown among native peoples at the 19th century. Ask Custer.
Spain was defeated by Latin American independency movement, and Spain was beated badly.
 
Tsk, tsk Pinguin have you forgotten the old maxim of "never say never". For your edification and as an aid to prvent your distribution of further misinformation:
 

His Holiness
Pope Benedict XVI

Vatican City 17 August 2007,

Your Holiness:

We are Mapuches resident in the European Union who monitor the current situation of the Mapuche nation, an original people living in the south of the territories that are today occupied by the states of Chile and Argentina.

As Mapuches, practising the Christian faith, as well as our ancestral spirituality, we respectfully address Your Holiness on the occasion of the official visit of the Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, and her announced interview with Your Holiness on 18th October, 2007. We appeal to Your Holiness to intercede with the President of Chile regarding the repression to which the Chilean state is systematically subjecting our people.

We the undersigned are members of the Mapuche nation, a nation that maintained its independence and sovereignty until the mid-1880s, the period when the republics of Chile and Argentina annexed our territory by force of arms. During the so-called "Pacification of Araucanía" in Chile and "Campaign of the Desert" in Argentina, thousands of Mapuches were brutally slaughtered, and further hundreds of thousands were displaced from their lands.

Historically the relationship between the Mapuche people and the Catholic Church has not been free from conflicts and difficulties. In this long path of coexistence, on more than one occasion the ecclesiastical institutions have opted to offer their moral support to the oppressors; such is the case of the support that was offered to the enterprise of colonisation of our nation. However, we recognise that during the whole colonial period, in all the events and negotiations - known as Parliaments - that took place between representatives of the Mapuche nation and the Spanish Crown, the Catholic Church always played the role of mediator. We therefore feel duty-bound to express our gratitude and tribute for the efforts of the missionaries of peace, which successfully contributed to shaping agreements of peace and of reciprocal respect for the sovereignty of both nations.

Over the centuries these treaties guaranteed and recognised the independence of our nation; on 28 occasions these treaties were signed between the Mapuche nation and the Spanish Crown. The history of the indigenous nations of North America has established the precedent that enables the Treaties signed to be considered as agreements sanctioned by International Law. The fact that these agreements have juridical legitimacy is thanks to the presence of the maximum ecclesiastical authorities, who, in their role as mediators, conferred the dignity of Pacta Sum Servanda.

[...]

As a result of the military defeat by the Chilean and Argentinian military forces, the Mapuche people has had its territory and natural resources plundered, and suffered the imposition of unjust and illegal legislations. Since then the Mapuche people have been subjected to the most horrendous misery. At the time of the annexation of the Mapuche territory by the Republics of Chile and Argentina, many sons and daughters of Mapuches were kidnapped and sent away to be servants or slaves in the homes of winkas (non Mapuches). We regret the fact that the Catholic Church of the time offered itself as an instrument in the subjection of our people, and that it did no react in support of the conquered, the robbed and the humiliated.

In this period, at the end of the Campaign of the Desert, the boy Ceferino Namuncura moved to the capital of Argentina. His words to his father express the atmosphere of a period of defencelessness and injustice: "daddy, look how we are now after having been owners of this land! We have no protection. Why don't you take me to Buenos Aires to study? Among so many men there, there will be some of good heart who would wish to give me protection and so I will be able to study and be useful to my race". Your Holiness, we recognise the beatification of Ceferino Namuncura as a positive expression. His aspiration to be useful not only to his Mapuche people and to the faith that he embraced with so much devotion, but to the whole of humanity, has materialised.

We view the granting on 27th September 1904 in Rome of the medal of the rank of Prince by His Holiness Pope Pius X as a de facto recognition by the Vatican of the Mapuche nation. Ceferino Namuncura represents and symbolises the hereditary noble lineage in his role as a member of the family of the Toki (highest ancestral authority) of the Mapuche people, Juan Kalfukura.

His Holiness John Paul II, on 5th April 1987, during his visit to the Araucanían region urged Mapuches to "conserve the culture of their people with well founded pride: their traditions and customs, their language and their own values" and he added "When defending your identity, you not only exercise a right, but rather you perform a duty: the duty of transmitting your culture to the coming generations (…) with your well-known values: the love of the land, the unquenchable love of freedom, the unity of your families".

Your Holiness, we would call your attention to the fact that these words of encouragement by your predecessor have been ignored by the current Chilean authorities. Far from seeking a just settlement to the conflict due to the occupation of our territory, the Chilean Government uses its legal system as an instrument to criminalise the just demands of Mapuche community members to recover their territory, for justice, freedom and social welfare.

Even though Mapuche protest actions are peaceful and within the framework of their civil and political rights, the Chilean authorities continue to use repressive laws introduced by General Pinochet's Military Dictatorship. As a result, the violation of the human rights and the fundamental freedoms of the Mapuche people is a daily reality, a situation that has been condemned on repeated occasions by the world's human rights organisations.

At the present time, a large number of Mapuche leaders and traditional authorities, such as Lonko (Chief) Calfunao, her husband Antonio Cadin, and their children Waikilaf and Jorge, as well as her sister Luisa, are imprisoned for defending their rights. Today Lonko (Chief) Calfunao and her sister Luisa are on hunger strike in a desperate action as part of their demand for justice.

Your Holiness, we request your mediation with the Chilean authorities, so that they refrain from using the repression of the law courts and the police against the Mapuche nation, so that they recognise the treaties and observe the standards of international humanitarian law and the rights of peoples. It is essential for the ChileanState to proceed to recognise the existence of the indigenous peoples in its political Constitution, and for it to ratify Convention 169 of the ILO regarding indigenous and tribal peoples.

We request that the ministers of the Catholic Church intensify their efforts to contribute to the gaining of access by our people to the benefits of economic, social and cultural well-being that they have been denied since the occupation of their territory.

Sincerely Yours,

Reynaldo Mariqueo ( England )
Jorge Calbucura ( Sweden )
Carlos Contreras Painemal ( Germany )
Domingo Paine ( Sweden )
Miguel Utreras ( Norway )
Millaray Waikian ( Switzerland )



Edited by drgonzaga - 14 Jul 2011 at 20:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2011 at 21:16
Sure, today there are many Mapuches that have converted to catholicism. But this happened after the 1880s defeat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SPQR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2011 at 07:23
I think Roman Soldiers were the best fighters evar!!!!!

anyone see where I am going???
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2011 at 07:48
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Spain was defeated by Latin American independency movement, and Spain was beated badly.

The French occupation of Spain in 1808 under Napoleon cut off its American colonies temporarily, and a number of independence movements between 1810 and 1825 resulted in a chain of newly independent Spanish American republics in South and Central America. The remainder of Spain's then-four hundred year empire, namely Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Spanish East Indies, continued under Spanish control until the end of the 19th century, when most of these territories were annexed by the United States after the Spanish-American War. Spain sold its remaining Pacific islands to Germany in 1899. Therefore, at the turn of the 20th century, Spain only held territories in Africa, namely Spanish Guinea, Spanish Sahara and Spanish Morocco, obtained during the Scramble for Africa, but they were relinquished from the mid 20th century due to the Decolonization of Africa. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Empire)

Where is the "beating"? Oh, wait...

The Spanish American wars of independence were the numerous wars against Spanish rule in Spanish America that took place during the early 19th century, from 1808 until 1829, directly related to the Napoleonic French invasion of Spain. The conflict started with short-lived governing juntas established in Chuquisaca and Quito opposing the composition of the Supreme Central Junta of Seville. When the Central Junta fell to the French, numerous new Juntas appeared all across the Americas, eventually resulting in a chain of newly independent countries stretching from Argentina and Chile in the south, to Mexico in the north. After the death of the king Ferdinand VII, in 1833, only Cuba and Puerto Rico remained under Spanish rule, until the Spanish–American War in 1898.

 

These conflicts can be characterized both as civil wars and wars of national liberation, since the majority of the combatants were Spanish Americans on both sides, and the goal of the conflict for one side was the independence of the Spanish colonies in the Americas. In addition, the wars were related to the other Latin American wars of independence in Haiti and Brazil. (Brazil's independence shared a common starting point with Spanish America's, since both were triggered by Napoleon's invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, when the Portuguese royal family resettled in Brazil.)

 

The war in Europe, and the resulting absolutist restoration ultimately convinced the Spanish Americans of the need to establish independence from the mother country, so various revolutions broke out in Spanish America. Moreover, the process of Latin American independence took place in the general political and intellectual climate that emerged from the Age of Enlightenment and that influenced all of the so-called Atlantic Revolutions, including the earlier revolutions in the United States and France. Nevertheless, the wars in, and the independence of, Spanish America were the result of unique developments within the Spanish Monarchy.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_American_wars_of_independence)

Penguin, I think I understand why many of your compatriots came into my country during Pinochet's rule. Especailly then the standard historical paradigm was that Romania won it's independence (we beat the sh*t out of the Turks). Well we did but we actually took advantage of the Russo-Turkish War. It's OK to be patriotic but sometimes one might get into being ridicule.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2011 at 17:01
Originally posted by Cezar Cezar wrote:

Penguin, I think I understand why many of your compatriots came into my country during Pinochet's rule. Especailly then the standard historical paradigm was that Romania won it's independence (we beat the sh*t out of the Turks). Well we did but we actually took advantage of the Russo-Turkish War. It's OK to be patriotic but sometimes one might get into being ridicule.


I don't see the relation between a gorilla, Pinochet, and patriotism.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pelantaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2011 at 07:20
Yes, I am chilean like yourself, however now  I live in Canada
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2011 at 14:06
I lived in Canada for 5 years in the late 80, but now I am back home.

Edited by pinguin - 02 Aug 2011 at 14:07
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pelantaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2011 at 02:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pelantaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2011 at 02:44
pinguin, recieve my warm greeting from, warm 28 C suny Vancouver Canada, i should get back home sometime. .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pelantaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2011 at 02:54

 lirelou respecfully Ithink that you ought to read Eduardo Agustin Cruz book 700 pages well documented, he is comprehensible about the Mapuches Cavalry. Also I quoted father Diego de Rosales; father Ignacio Molina both from Spain they were from the period of the conquest, and Claudio Gay.

He stated, the army of the Mapuches is composed of both cavalry and infantry. The army initially consisted entirely of foot soldiers; but in their first battles with the Spaniards, perceiving the vast advantage derived by their enemies from the employment of cavalry. They soon applied themselves to procure a good breed of horses; insomuch that in 1568, only seventeen years after their first encountering with the Spaniards. The Mapuches had several squadrons of cavalry; and by the year 1585, the Araucanian cavalry was regularly organized by the toquis Nancunahuel and Codehuala. The soldiers are not clothed in uniforms, but all have cuirasses of hardened leather below their ordinary dresses, with shields and helmets of the same material. The cavalry armed with swords and lances; and the infantry with pikes, bow and arrow and clubs pointed with iron. Under normal circumstance, Mapuche infantry in line were helpless against Spanish cavalry and could be massacred, as happened in the beginner of the conquest. Their only protection was the square, a bristling hedge of pikes impenetrable, to form square quickly demanded some precision, and they forts.

The Araucanian cavalry appeared in appearance formidable, well-armed special long range lances steel-spearheads (armor piercing bodking point), conducted regularly, and showing the riders, ease and no small gallantry. ( Claudio Gay

The cavalry was disposed in two lines on each wing. ( Cruz) The Spaniards were amazed of the good order kept by the Mapuche Cavalry, even when they had to beat a speedy retreat. All Mapuches warriors went to battle on horseback, but those who formed the center of the line dismounted and fought as infantry- mounted infantry while others Indians took care of theirs horses a short distance to the rear. They were very quick in their ferocious operations, of exceeding speed, and fond of surprising their enemies.

As one author note, father Rosales Diego de Rosales stated in p. 118, V wrote of a situation where a group of aMapuches squadron had captured so many Spanish arms and horses, that from a distance they looked like Spanish cavalry. In one case, a Spanish company had to abruptly retreat when they realized that the party they were approaching was not a

wander away Spanish cavalry unit, but a group of well-equipped Mapuche cavalry. In

battle, the cavalry distributed on the two wings of the army, while the infantry forms

the centre or main body, divided into its several battalions or regiments, the ranks

being composed alternately of pike men and soldiers armed with clubs or maces.

The right wing confided to the vice-toqui and the left to an experienced officer next

in rank while the toqui is present wherever occasion requires, and encourages his

soldiers to fight courageously and earnestly for the liberties of the nation.

The cavalry, in an offensive battle, was used for guarding against a flank movement,

for taking the enemy in flank, and for launch attack upon when routed, thus to

completed his destruction. For these purposes, the Mapuche cavalry commonly

placed on the flank of the infantry. The cavalry had as its first objective the defeat

of the enemy’s cavalry; this mission completed, the horsemen, aimed to attack the

flank and rear of the infantry. For this task the Mapuche cavalry had the appropriated

attributes of greater mobility. Moving at a trot well-trained Mapuche cavalry could

keep their formation in three lines and execute alterations in direction that, after the

defeat of the Spanish cavalry, enabled them immediately to charge with their long

pikes the flank or rear of the lines of enemy musketeers. ( Cruz

Nancunahuel organized the Mapuche cavalry, first, a squadron of 150 riders he

arm, them of long pikes and trained very tough for the combat, according to the

historian Claudio Gay p. 126, Historia fisica y politica de Chile, volume II.

Diego de Rosales stated in p. 118, V I, they are great men in a horse, giving him

thousand turns, returns, evolutions handling the lance together with great skill…

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2011 at 03:09
Diego de Rosales was Spanish, but Claudio Gay was French. Father Ignacio Molina was a Jesuit but Chilean, born in Chile, not during the Conquest but at late Colonial times. He was our first scientist, actually. He is (for ourselves) the famous Abbott Molina. I don't know about Eduardo Cruz, but it seems he is a contemporary Chilean.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pelantaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2011 at 03:36

 I forgot to say that most of Argentina territory was Mapuche land 1541-1883–(kind of free kingdom or republic, based in strong army to protected.) also Chile the Southern part of the Patagonia.  Except for Buenos Aires, Mendoza and another city.

The Mapuche Indians: “The occupation of their lives is war, which they consider

is their noble and most natural employment; and they declare that the proudest

attitude of the human figure is when, bending over his horse, man is riding at his

enemy.

The principal weapon which they use is a spear eighteen feet long; they manage

it with great dexterity, and are able to give it a tremulous motion which has often

shaken the sword from the hand of their Spanish adversaries.”

 

Spanish chronicler mentions numerical superiority of the natives as one of the reason for their successful resistance. Most of the Spanish chroniclers and eyewitness like Pedro De Valdivia cited enemy forces of 80.000to 40,000 Indian but, they fail to mention the auxiliary Indian friendly to the Spanish, they fougth in the Spanish side, and that the

Mapuches won many battles in numerical inferiority.

In addition to this, the Spanish army at this time was the best of the world, and

had technically superiority. At the start of the conquest in Chile, the battles usually

won by the Spanish Conquistadors heavily armored equestrian, who could ride in

uneven military formations over any number of Indians infantry.

However, almost immediately the Mapuches found an effective way of defeating

It. Soon after they defeated the cavalry with pikes sufficiently protected by, bowmen

and other troops armed with clubs.

The Indians used the porcupine or square technique as weaponry against the

Spanish cavalry.

According to Spanish Captain Gonzales Najera, (A tercio himself) one of the best general of the Spanish army. Najera stated, they have the best horses also, they protect the horses with leather armor (encubertados) very hard of crude leather of ox, scraped and very painted of colors with currencies and trophies, in which they imitate ours Spaniards, they surround and they cover the horse to protect of an arrow, pikes or lances. By this document, we have the evidence that all the horses or most goes armed-encubertados.

.

 

 It is important to note that in Chile only Spain had a permanent professional army of 3000 regular, (enormous for the period) plus indios amigos. The governor Don Alonso de Rivera was the best military that Spain had in Flándes according to historian,

 the creation of a professional army in Chile1603.

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pelantaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2011 at 03:44
pinguin , very good with the Cronicles, you are rigth,  Eduardo Cruz, is a contemporary Chilean, he studied Sociolgy at the University of Cocepcion ,Chile and education in the University of British Columbia Canada.( The National Library of Chile choose Cruz book patrimony ( patrimonio  nacional of chilean people.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2011 at 04:33
What a shame for our people that the so called "auxiliary indians" to the Spaniards are more likely our ancestors. Yes, most Chilean peoples have native blood, but not of Mapuches (As teachers say) but from Picunches and other Indians that allied to the invader. That's our cruel reality.


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