The Ninth Region of the Araucanía is one of the fifteen regions in which is found divided the Chilean territory. Is composed for two provinces (31 communes) and its capital is the city of Temuco. It is a Araucanian zone by excellence, where even is alive this culture, conserving their traditions like they are, room (rucas), cultured, araucarian trees, etc.
The Ninth Region of the Araucanía limits for the north with the Eighth Region of the Bío-Bío, by the west with the Pacificl Ocean, by the east with the Republic of Argentina and by the south with the Tenth Region of The Lakes.
In this region The Araucania the typically southern landscape is initiated. In her appears the first indigenous forests of magnitude, next to the standing lakes of mountain. The main characteristics of this landscape are the smooth hills that undulate the valley, the native forest and the volcanos of perfect cone. Their large attractions we find them in their lakes, in their volcanos that cause hot springs and centers of skiing, in the national parks and in the bodies of lake water. The total population of the region according to the preliminary data of the census of 2002 is of 864,929, that is to say a 5,7% of the population of Chile is found in this sector. Of this total, the 67% of the population is urban, and the 32% rural remainder.
The Region of the Araucanía, along with the zone of the Biobío, they are you considered as the heart of the Araucanian town. Their inhabitants still conserve old traditions
The geographical zone that conforms the IX region began to be used really by the Chilean State at the beginning of the decade of 1860, being entrusted Cornelius Saavedra the project of the pacification of the Araucanía. Subsequently began its colonization with Germans, Swiss and French. Further on, many of those lands passed by hand of Chileans.
The Araucanians or "people of the land" constitute the most numerous native town of our country and perhaps the unique one that conserves still, in some settlements, their tongue and part of their culture. Although they had inhabited all the zone of the central valley, the Inca expansion and the advance of the atacameños from north they obliged them to be retract toward the south. It is estimated that there was more than one million Araucanians in Chile when Santiago in 1541 was founded.
Of all the native towns of America, was the one that more resistance opposed to the hispanic domination. Its political organization, divided into diverse headquarters and dispersed in the territory, complicated considerably the conquest.
The town Araucanian considered custom to maintain great distance between a family and another. The base of their organization were the lof or lov, assemblies of families with a totem or common ancestor. Besides the lof was found the rehue or rewe, that covers to all the clans originating from a same sacred emblem. Its leader was the lonko that served fundamentally as the moderator in the discussions inside the rewe. Nine rewes united constituted an aillarewe, political organization of military character that originally was formed only in case of war and was presided by a toqui. When the war finish , aillarewe and toqui disappeared. Finally, the organization that came meet to the totality of the aillarewes to face the war against the Spaniards, was the vutanmapu.
The town Araucanian raised first some varieties of auquénidos ( llamas, guanacos) and then by european influence they introduce bovine, ovine, poultry and horses. As for the agriculture, the land was worked through the rotary cultivation of pictures of land in which harvested corn, potatoes, quínoa, pumpkins and chili, and then, also by Spanish influence, wheat and vegetables.
Also they hunted deer and birds, and they collected pinions in the mountainous zone and shellfish and edible seaweed in the coast.
The diverse communities exchanged actively products among itself, the pehuenches, for example, provided pinions to the lafquenches that, at the same time, they provide marine products. Also, they produced craft in wood that changed for weavings and silverware to the Araucanians of the valleys. At present 604,349 Araucanians in our country exist, of which near the 50% inhabits between the ninth region of the Araucanía and the tenth region of The Lakes.
The pehuenches were a nomadic town that inhabited Chain of mountain of the south region of our country, specifically, the two sides of the mountain Range of The Andes among the river Maule and the volcano Lonquimay. They were hunter-gatherers that went for the territory collecting the pehuén or pinion of Araucarian trees. In fact, of this fruit originates its name, the pehuenche is "the man of the pehuén".
The pehuén was used to manufacture a species of flour that stored next to other fruits and provisions in places built under the land. All the resources remained there for to be used during shortages. The pehuenches men hunted guanacos, nandues and Andean deer utilizing boleadoras that made it with intestines and leather of animal that filled with stones. One of its main sources of resources was the exchange of animals and skins that exchanged for food and other products. The animals provided them also the fat with the one that covered their skins to protect them of the cold.
The pehuenches manufactured their dwellings with branches and skins, and they were used to organizing in bands that were established near rivers and estuaries. Each band was directed by a lonko or head of family. Did not there were large contacts between pehuenches and Spaniards during the first years of the conquest, therefore they were found in a state of relative isolation. Nevertheless, they received some influences, learning, for example, to ride a horse. Further on, pehuenches and Spaniards established trade relations changing skins, ponchos and feathers of ostrich by wheat, liquor, spurs and silver. The pehuenches managed to market cattle on both sides of the mountain range.
They were the Chileans the ones that deteriorated this relation in the middle of the 19th century, when they star the the alienation of ancient pehuenches lands and to reduce thus drastically the territory of the native communities. To consolidate the process of occupation, at the end of 1882, the Chilean army advanced toward the mountain range for establish the strong of Nitrito, Lonquimay, Liucura, Llaima and Maitchú.