Toqui (or Toki) (Mapudungun for axe or axe-bearer) is a title conferred by the Mapuche (an indigenous Chilean and Argentinianpeople) on those chosen as leaders during times of war. The toqui is chosen in an assembly or parliament ( coyag ) of the chieftains (loncos) of various clans (Rehues) or confederation of clans (Aillarehues), allied during the war at hand. The toqui commanded strict obedience of all the warriors and their loncos during the war, would organize them into units and appoint leaders over them. This command would continue until the toqui was killed, abdicated (Cayancaru), was deposed in another parliament (as in the case of Lincoyan, for poor leadership), or upon completion of the war for which he was chosen.
Some of the more famous Toqui in the Arauco War with the Spanish introduced tactical innovations. For example, Lautaro introduced infantry tactics to defeat horsemen. Lemucaguin was the first Toqui to use firearms and artillery in battle. Nongoniel was the first Toqui to use cavalry with the Mapuche army. Cadeguala was the first to successfully use Mapuche cavalry to defeat Spanish cavalry in battle. Anganamón was the first to mount his infantry to keep up with his fast-moving cavalry. Lientur pioneered the tactic of numerous and rapid malóns into Spanish territory.
The greatest of the Toqui was the older Paillamachu, who developed the strategy, patiently organized and trained his forces and then with his two younger Vice Toqui, Pelantaro and Millacolquin, carried out the Great Revolt of 1598–1604 which finally expelled the Spanish from Araucania.
The following Mapuche leaders were at some time named as toquis:
† Killed in battle or †† executed for rebellion or @ assassinated.
Colocolo was a Mapuche leader in the early period of the Arauco War. He was a major figure in Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga's epic poem La Araucana, about the early Arauco War. In the poem he was the one that proposed the contest between the rival candidates for Toqui that resulted in the choice of Caupolicán. As a historical figure there are some few contemporary details about him. Stories of his life were written long after his lifetime and display many points of dubious historical accuracy.
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 conquerors attempting to establish cities and force Mapuches into servitude. It subsequently evolved over time into phases comprising 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.
Alonso de Sotomayor y Valmediano was a Spanish conquistador from Extremadura, and a Royal Governor of Chile.
Battle of Peteroa was a battle in the Arauco War in 1556, in a plain beside a river in the Mataquito River valley, called Peteroa. The battle was between the Spanish forces of Pedro de Villagra, and Mapuche headed by their toqui Lautaro.
Battle of Quilacura was a battle in the Arauco War, fought at night, four leagues from the Bio-Bio River, between the Spanish expedition of Pedro de Valdivia and a force of Mapuche warriors led by Malloquete on February 11, 1546.
The Battle of Mataquito was fought in the Arauco War on April 30, 1557, between the Spanish forces of the governor, Francisco de Villagra, and Mapuche headed by their toqui Lautaro. It was a dawn surprise attack on Lautaro's fortified camp between a wooded mountain and the shore of the Mataquito River. The battle is notable for ending Mapuche pretensions to expulse the Spanish from Santiago, while also avenging the death of former governor Pedro de Valdivia who had been killed by Lautaro's warriors four years earlier.
The Battle of Millarapue that occurred November 30, 1557 was intended by the Toqui Caupolicán as a Mapuche ambush of the Spanish army of García Hurtado de Mendoza that resulted in a Spanish victory when the ambush failed.
Illangulién, Quiromanite, Queupulien or Antiguenu, was the Mapuche toqui elected to replace Lemucaguin or Caupolicán the younger in 1559 following the Battle of Quiapo to his death in battle in the Battle of Angol in 1564.
Cadeguala or Cadiguala was a Mapuche toqui elected in 1585 following the death in battle of the previous toqui Nangoniel. Cadeguala was a noted warrior and the first Mapuche toqui known to have used cavalry successfully in battle. He was killed in a duel with the garrison commander of the Spanish fort at Purén in 1586.
Paineñamcu or Paynenancu or Alonso Diaz, was the Mapuche toqui from 1574 to 1584. Alonso Diaz was a mestizo Spanish soldier offended because the Governor of Chile did not promote him to the officer rank of alféres, who subsequently went over to the Mapuche in 1572. He took the Mapuche name of Paineñamcu and because of his military skills was elected toqui in 1574 following the death of Paillataru.
Battle of Quiapo in the Arauco War was the final battle in the campaign of García Hurtado de Mendoza against the Mapuche under the toqui known as Lemucaguin or Caupolicán the younger. It was fought in Quiapo, Arauco Province, Chile on December 13, 1558.
The Battle of Angol was a battle fought between the Mapuche and the Spanish Empire on 25 March 1564 as part of Arauco War.
Cayancura, or Cayeucura, was a Mapuche leader native to the region of Marigüenu, chosen as toqui in 1584 to replace the captured Paineñamcu. His one great operation was an attempted siege of the fort at Arauco that failed, leading to his abdication of his office in favor of his son Nangoniel in 1585.
Vilumilla was the Mapuche Toqui elected in 1722 to lead the Mapuche Uprising of 1723 against the Spanish for their violation of the peace.
Lientur was the Mapuche toqui from 1618 to 1625. He was the successor to Loncothegua. Lientur with his vice toqui Levipillan was famed for his rapid malóns or raids. Because of his ability to slip back and forth over the Spanish border between its fortresses and patrols and raid deep into Spanish territory north of the Bio-Bio River without losses he was called the Wizard by the Spanish.
Millalelmo or Millarelmo was a Mapuche military leader in the second great Mapuche rebellion that began in 1561 during the Arauco War. Probably the toqui of the Arauco region, he commanded the Mapuche army of that area at the siege of Arauco from May 20 to June 30, 1562.
Loble, also known as Lig-lemu or Lillemu,(d. ca. 1565) was the Mapuche vice-toqui of the Moluche north of the Bio-Bio River who led the second Mapuche revolt during the Arauco War.
Pedro de Avendaño a Spanish soldier that had arrived in Chile with the army of García Hurtado de Mendoza in 1557. He distinguished himself in the Battle of Millarapue. He later served in the garrison of Cañete under captain Alonso de Reinoso. Reinoso eventually found an Indian who betrayed the location of the fugitive Mapuche toqui Caupolicán. Avendaño, with 50 men and the traitorous Indian as a guide, marched in stormy weather into the mountains to Pilmaiquén and captured Caupolicán as he was planning a new counter-offensive against the Spanish, near the modern Antihuala, on February 5, 1558. He brought the toqui back to Cañete where he was eventually executed by empalement at the order of corregidor Reinoso.
Butapichón or Butapichún or Putapichon was the Mapuche toqui from 1625 to 1631, as successor to Lientur. After the death of Quepuantú in 1632 he became toqui once again from 1632 to 1634.
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.