Tehuelche people

Mulato, a Tehuelche Chief.
The approximate distribution of languages in the southernmost regions of South America during the years of the Spanish conquest.
Tehuelche chiefs, located in Santa Cruz Province in the south of Argentina.
Grupo de patagones en puerto Peckett. An 1832 drawing made during the voyage of Jules Dumont d'Urville.
Distribution of pre-Hispanic peoples in Southern Patagonia
Tehuelche Cloak. Museo de La Plata.
The classification of Chonan languages, according to Roberto Lehmann-Nitsche.
Rock art at Cueva de las Manos, Santa Cruz Province.
Portrait of Chief Junchar by José del Pozo in Puerto Deseado, in 1789, during the Malaspina Expedition (1789–1794).
Tehuelches in Río Gallegos.
Under General Roca, the Conquest of the Desert extended Argentine power into Patagonia
Elderly Tehuelche woman smoking a tobacco pipe.
Rosa Chiquichano, of Tehuelche descent. A past member of the Argentine Chamber of Deputies, representing the Chubut Province.
The Tehuelche flag: The blue of the sea, the brown of the mountains, the black arrow pointing north and the Southern Cross.

Indigenous people from Patagonia in South America, with existing members of the group currently residing in the southern Argentina-Chile borders.

- Tehuelche people

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The Mapuche ( (Mapuche & Spanish: )) are a group of indigenous inhabitants of present-day south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina, including parts of present-day Patagonia.

Lautaro, hero of the Arauco war; Rayén Quitral outstanding soprano; Current Mapuche woman; Ceferino Namuncura blessed of the Catholic Church.
Map of Mapuche territories according to Miguel Melin, Pablo Mansilla and Manuela Royo in MAPU CHILLKANTUKUN ZUGU: Descolonizando el Mapa del Wallmapu, Construyendo Cartografía Cultural en Territorio Mapuche.
Euler diagram of Mapuche ethicities. Historical denominations no longer in use are shown with white fields. Groups that adopted Mapuche language and culture or that have partial Mapuche descent are shown in the periphery of the main magenta-coloured field.
Huamán Poma de Ayala's picture of the confrontation between the Mapuches (left) and the Incas (right)
Painting El joven Lautaro of P. Subercaseaux, shows the military genius and expertise of his people.
Caupolican by Nicanor Plaza
Cornelio Saavedra Rodríguez in meeting with the main lonkos of Araucania in 1869
Ancient flag of the Mapuche on the Arauco War.
Mapuche activists killed in confrontations with the Chilean police in the 2000s.
Wenufoye flag created in 1992 by the indigenist organization "Consejo de Todas las Tierras".
Familia Mapuche, by Claudio Gay, 1848.
A council of Araucanian philosophers, 1904
The daughter of lonko Quilapán
Height of a chemamull (Mapuche funeral statue) compared to a person.
Traditional Mapuche poncho exhibited in Museo Artesanía Chilena.
Monument in the form of a gigantic clava mere okewa, located in Avenida Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva, Cañete, Chile
Drawing of a trapelacucha, a silver finery piece.
Painting by Raymond Monvoisin showing Elisa Bravo Jaramillo who was said to have survived the 1849 wreck of Joven Daniel to be then kidnapped by Mapuches.
Flag of Argentinian Tehuelche-Mapuche

At about the same time, ethnic groups of the pampa regions, the Puelche, Ranquel and northern Aonikenk, made contact with Mapuche groups.

Strait of Magellan

Navigable sea route in southern Chile separating mainland South America to the north and Tierra del Fuego to the south.

The Strait of Magellan at the southern tip of South America
Strait of Magellan
A replica of Victoria, one of Magellan's ships, in the Museo Nao Victoria, Punta Arenas, Chile
View of the capitulaciones granted by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in 1534
Map showing the extent of the Patagonian Ice Sheet in the Strait of Magellan area during the Last Glacial Period. Selected modern settlements are shown with yellow dots.
The County of Peebles and Cavenga are used as a breakwater for the harbour at Punta Arenas.
Port of Punta Arenas in winter
Barcaza Melinka at Porvenir port, providing a ferry service across the strait between Punta Arenas and Porvenir
The Strait of Magellan at dawn
U.S. Navy carrier USS Ronald Reagan in the strait

To the east of the Kawésqar were the Tehuelche, whose territory extended to the north in Patagonia.


Patagonia refers to a geographical region that encompasses the southern end of South America, governed by Argentina and Chile.

Río Negro Province, Argentina.
Ainsworth Bay and Marinelli Glacier, Chile.
View of Punta Arenas, Chile, in winter
Santa Cruz Province
Black-browed albatross, near Ushuaia
Map of the indigenous peoples of Southern Patagonia
Cueva de las Manos site in Santa Cruz, Argentina
Nao Victoria, the replica of the first ship to pass through the Strait of Magellan
An 1840s illustration of indigenous Patagonians from near the Straits of Magellan, from Voyage au pole sud et dans l'Océanie by French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville
Tehuelche warriors in Patagonia
Map of the advance of the Argentine frontier until the establishment of zanja de Alsina
Under General Roca, the Conquest of the Desert extended Argentine power into Patagonia
Tierra del Fuego sheep ranch, 1942: The region's primary activity then, it has been eclipsed by the decline in the global wool market as much as by petroleum and gas extraction.
Gauchos mustering sheep in Patagonia
Whale watching off the Valdes Peninsula
La Trochita on its Chubut Province route: Formerly the sole rapid transport means in the province, La Trochita is now a tourist attraction.

The people he called the Patagons are now believed to have been the Tehuelche, who tended to be taller than Europeans of the time.

Chubut Province

Province in southern Argentina, situated between the 42nd parallel south (the border with Río Negro Province), the 46th parallel south (bordering Santa Cruz Province), the Andes range to the west, and the Atlantic ocean to the east.

Argentine Geological Society founder Dr. Victorio Angelelli (2nd from right), ca. 1950, whose study of Chubut's mineral wealth identified resources for economic development.
Government House.
Köppen climate map of Chubut, Argentina
Cholila Lake.
Los Altares.
The town of Esquel.
Rada Tilly, on the Atlantic Ocean.
Southern right whale in Península Valdés, its preferred sanctuary.
Departments of the Province of Chubut.

Before the Spaniards arrived in the Americas, nomadic indigenous Tehuelche people had inhabited the Patagonia region for thousands of years.

Río Negro Province

Province of Argentina, located at the northern edge of Patagonia.

Francisco Moreno
Río Negro, the "black river" and the province's namesake.
Roadside scenery along the Upper Valley of the Rio Negro ("Black River").
Governor Arabella Carreras
Hotel Llao Llao, on Lake Nahuel Huapi. Tourism adds at least 10% to Rio Negro's economy.
Lake Nahuel Huapi, the most famous among the Andes range's many lakes.
Las Grutas beach
Political division of the northern Patagonia; capital cities and heads of departments labeled, national roads and main rivers.
View of Lake Nahuel Huapi and the city of Bariloche.

The province is home to four indigenous groups: The Tehuelches, the Puelches, the Pehuenches, and the Mapuches.


Capital city of the Argentine province of Neuquén and of the Confluencia Department, located in the east of the province.

Estadio Ruca Che.

Shortly after the Conquest of the Desert campaign conducted by the military over Patagonia, the Tehuelche and Pehuenche tribes that inhabited the province of Neuquén were either killed or pushed out of these lands.

Santa Cruz Province, Argentina

Province of Argentina, located in the southern part of the country, in Patagonia.

Ochre-ink art in Cueva de las Manos, Santa Cruz. Made by the long-vanished Toldense people, they are 13,000–9,000 years old.
Scene from La Patagonia rebelde. Based on an ill-fated local strike in 1922, the 1974 epic was made with the encouragement of Santa Cruz's governor.
Néstor and Cristina Kirchner (center) in conference with fellow Patagonia-area lawmakers.
The windswept Patagonian landscape of Santa Cruz.
Köppen climate map of Santa Cruz, Argentina
Oceanographic craft ARA Puerto Deseado
Argentine Lake, near El Calafate.
Perito Moreno Glacier, near El Calafate. Until recently, the only glacier of its type in the world that was still expanding.
Río Gallegos Cathedral.
The departaments and the respective capitals.

The indigenous people of the province are the Tehuelches, who despite European exploration from the 16th century onwards, retained independence until the late 19th century.

Francisco Moreno

Prominent explorer and academic in Argentina, where he is usually referred to as Perito Moreno (perito means "specialist, expert").

Francisco P. Moreno
Bust of Francisco Moreno, in front of the Los Glaciares National Park offices in El Calafate.

He was taken prisoner by a Tehuelche aboriginal tribe and condemned to death.

Araucanization of Patagonia

The process of the expansion of Mapuche culture, influence, and its Mapudungun language from Araucanía across the Andes into the plains of Patagonia.

Lautaro, hero of the Arauco war; Rayén Quitral outstanding soprano; Current Mapuche woman; Ceferino Namuncura blessed of the Catholic Church.

Amerindian peoples of the pampas, such as the Puelche, Pehuenche, and Tehuelche, adopted the Mapudungun language as their main language (both of their names are in Mapudungun).

Puelche people

The Gününa küna, or sometimes, Puelche (Mapudungun: pwelche, "people of the east") are indigenous peoples living east of the Andes Mountains in Chile and Southwest Argentina.

Flag of the Gününa künä, or Puelche people

They were annihilated by plagues and epidemics in the late 18th century, with survivors merging into other groups such as the Mapuche, Het, and Tehuelche.