Mapuche

Ethnic group in South America

The Mapuche are a group of indigenous inhabitants of present-day 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 Aconcagua Valley to Chiloรฉ Archipelago and spread later eastward to the Argentine pampa, at one point ruling most of Patagonia. Today the collective group makes up over 80% of the indigenous peoples in Chile, and about 9% of the total Chilean population. The Mapuche are particularly concentrated in the Araucanรญa region. Many have migrated from rural areas to the cities of Santiago and Buenos Aires for economic opportunities.

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