Battle of Curalaba

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Battle of Curalaba
Part of Arauco War
DateDecember 23, 1598
Location
Curalaba, on the banks of the Lumaco River, 25 kilometers from Angol

37°55′S72°53′W / 37.917°S 72.883°W / -37.917; -72.883 Coordinates: 37°55′S72°53′W / 37.917°S 72.883°W / -37.917; -72.883
Result Decisive Mapuche victory
Belligerents
Flag of New Spain.svg Spanish Empire Lautaro flag.svg Mapuche
Commanders and leaders
Flag of New Spain.svg Martín García Oñez de Loyola   Lautaro flag.svg vice toqui Pelantaru
Strength
50 Spanish and 300 Indian auxiliaries 300 Warriors
Casualties and losses
All but two Spaniards were killed, [1] as were most of the Indian auxiliaries. ?

The Battle of Curalaba (Spanish: Batalla de Curalabapronounced  [baˈtaʝa ðe kuɾaˈlaβa] ) is a 1598 battle and ambush where Mapuche people led by Pelantaru soundly defeated Spanish conquerors led by Martín García Óñez de Loyola at Curalaba, southern Chile. In Chilean historiography, where the event is often called the Disaster of Curalaba (Spanish: Desastre de Curalaba), the battle marks the end of the Conquest of Chile (la conquista) period in Chile's history, although the fast Spanish expansion in the south had already been halted in the 1550s. The battle contributed to unleash a general Mapuche uprising that resulted in the Destruction of the Seven Cities. This severe crisis reshaped Colonial Chile and forced the Spanish to reassess their mode of warfare.

Mapuche Ethnic group in South America

The Mapuche are a group of indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina, including parts of present-day Patagonia. The collective term refers to a wide-ranging ethnicity composed of various groups who shared a common social, religious and economic structure, as well as a common linguistic heritage as Mapudungun speakers. Their influence once extended from the Aconcagua River to the Chiloé Archipelago and spread later eastward to the Argentine pampa. Today the collective group makes up over 80% of the indigenous peoples in Chile, and about 9% of the total Chilean population. Mapuches are particularly concentrated in Araucanía. Many have migrated to the Santiago and Buenos Aires area for economic opportunities.

Martín García Óñez de Loyola Royal Governor of Chile

Don Martín García Óñez de Loyola was a Spanish Basque soldier and Royal Governor of the Captaincy General of Chile. According to Diego Barros Arana it is likely that Ignatius of Loyola was his uncle.

Chile Republic in South America

Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a South American country occupying a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south. Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Salas y Gómez, Desventuradas, and Easter Island in Oceania. Chile also claims about 1,250,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi) of Antarctica, although all claims are suspended under the Antarctic Treaty.

Contents

History

On December 21, 1598, governor Martín García Oñez de Loyola traveled to Purén leading 50 men. On the second day they camped in Curalaba without taking protective measures. The Mapuche people, aware of their presence, with their cavalry led by Pelantaru and his lieutenants, Anganamón and Guaiquimilla, with three hundred men, shadowed his movements and made a surprise night raid. Completely surprised, the governor and almost all of his soldiers and companions were killed.

Purén City and Commune in La Araucanía, Chile

Purén is a city and commune in Malleco Province of La Araucanía Region, Chile. It is located in the west base of the Nahuelbuta mountain range. The economical activity of Purén is based in forest exploitation and agriculture. The most characteristic product of Purén is the white strawberry which is one of two species of strawberry that were hybridized to create the modern garden strawberry.

Anganamón, also known as Ancanamon or Ancanamun, was a prominent war leader of the Mapuche during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries and a Toqui from. Anganamón was known for his tactical innovation of mounting his infantry to keep up with his cavalry.

This event was called the Disaster of Curalaba by the Spaniards. It not only involved the death of the Spanish governor, but the news rapidly spread among the Mapuche and triggered a general revolt, long-prepared by the toqui Paillamachu, that destroyed Spanish camps and towns south of the Bío-Bío River over the next few years.

Toqui Mapuche leader in times of war

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Paillamachu, was the Mapuche toqui from 1592 to 1603 in what is now Chile.

See also

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Araucanía (historic region) Historic indigenously-inhabited region of Chile

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Arauco War Conflict between Spanish settlers of Chile and indigenous peoples

The Arauco War was a long-running conflict between colonial Spaniards and the Mapuche people, mostly fought in the Araucanía. The conflict begun at first as a reaction to the Spanish conquest attempt establishing cities and forcing Mapuches into servitude. It subsequently evolved over time into phases of low intensity warfare, drawn-out sieges, slave-hunting expeditions, pillaging raids, punitive expeditions and renewed Spanish attempts to secure lost territories. Abduction of women and war rape was common on both sides.

Captaincy General of Chile Spanish 1541-1818 possession in South America

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Pelantaro or Pelantarú was one of the vice toquis of Paillamachu, the toqui or military leader of the Mapuche people during the Mapuche uprising in 1598. Pelantaro and his lieutenants Anganamon and Guaiquimilla were credited with the death of the second Spanish Governor of Chile, Martín García Óñez de Loyola, during the Battle of Curalaba on December 21, 1598.

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References

  1. The Spanish survivors were a priest, Bartolomé Pérez, who was captured, and Bernardo de Pereda, a soldier left for dead with 23 wounds who made his way to La Imperial after 70 days.

Sources

Vicente Carvallo y Goyeneche (1742–1816) was a Chilean soldier, author and historian of Basque descent, born in Valdivia. Author of the Descripcion Histórico Geografía del Reino de Chile, covering the history and geography of the Captaincy General of Chile from the beginning of the Spanish conquest to 1789. The book remained unpublished for eighty years, until it was published between 1875 and 1876 by José Toribio Medina. The text is divided in two sections. In the first Carvallo narrates events beginning with the Conquest of Chile up to the year 1789. The second section consists of a description of all the provinces of the country and the customs of the Mapuche. It was published in three parts, the last in 1876.