I have fallen in love with learning about history again after many many years of just being interested, so learning about the Spanish explorers arriving in Santiago, Chile from the mothership land back in Europe during the 1500’s is such an interesting series of tales, but the first people in this fair land were the Mapuche.
The Mapuche, the indigenous, ended up being tricked by the Incas, who had a nice way of building their empire through tactics of gentle persuasion, escalating to human sacrifices in the name of their god. So the easy going laid back Mapuche, who hid nose-deep in rivers to catch birds (not fish) and lived in small tribes of no more than 40 and who adorned themselves with basic clothing and the odd item of vanity, like a piece of wood strapped tightly to the forehead to create an extended forehead, it wasn’t enough to prevent them being displaced and migrating south, or being diluted within the Inca race and ultimately within the European Colonist, until today, where very few Chileans can trace their ancestry back to Mapuche roots.
How many times have I seen and read historical documents and artefacts describing the indigenous being wiped out or just diluted so that there is little trace of them left, whether it was the Dutch, Portuguese, British, Spanish, Italian, Australian, Japanese or other, the way that we, as mankind has evolved throughout our world with domination over another ethnic group cannot be summed in one blog, one journey, one lifetime or certainly by one person.
At the top of the hierarchical tree of classes in society was anyone who was of Espanoles birth, the pure race, secondly, the Criollos were the locally born Espanoles, then near the bottom of the tree were the native South American Indians and finally at the bottom were the Mulatos, the slaves.
Humans have been migrating from region to region since man first moved northwards from the south of Africa many thousands of years ago. It is part of our DNA to explore, to seek better opportunities and to make safe and secure lives for our families. Ethnic groups like the Mapuche, are not looked after enough and their culture may be lost forever, a truly sad reflection on humanity if we lose the rich history of our evolution.
Lest we not forget!