Mapuche, Araucanian in Argentina

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

"Mapuche" comes from "mapu" (land or earth), and "che" (people). Thus they are "the people of the earth". The Mapuche culture first appeared in the South of Chile, in the province of Araucania. In the 16th and 17th Centuries they stopped the advance of the Incas, conquered a big portion of the Patagonia in Chile, and began to relate to the "Pehuenches", an ethnic group that lived in the mountains. Eventually the Pehuenches adapted Mapuche language and traditions.

In the 19th century, the Mapuches/Araucarian arrived to what it is today Neuquen, Argentina, and from there they expanded to the extended pampas initially populated by other ethnic groups named "Tehuelches", "Pampas" and "Ranqueles".
Mapuches held a long resistance to the advance of landowners. They were able to take the ranchers' horses and mastered the art of riding. By 1885, after many battles between Mapuches and the Argentinian army, they were defeated, and retreated to the desert.

Where Are they Located?

Today they live in the southern regions of Chile and in the Argentinean provinces of Chubut, Neuquen, Rio Negro, La Pampa and South of Buenos Aires and Mendoza.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Some have become activists for the protection of their rights. Many are losing their language and few of the younger generation speak it. Their well-known and difficult art of loom-knitting is also being lost, as most daughters don't learn it anymore. Mapuches live in small villages, but many have fled to the cities for better jobs and education where they often deny their origins.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Some are Roman-Catholics, others evangelical. But most still hold the traditional rites and beliefs. Mainly they believe that there is a god called "Nguenechen", literally "the owner of people", and make collective prayers and rituals, called "rogativas". In each tribe there is a "machi", a kind of witch-doctor. They believe that every tree, animal, river, etc. has a divine spirit which they worship.

What Are Their Needs?

They need to be able to keep their culture and language. They need to be embraced by the true love of God, and learn that He is the only true One.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Mapuche, Araucanian in Argentina.

Pray that God will have compassion for them and raise missionaries who will teach them the Gospel respecting their love for nature and traditions. Pray also for deliverance from practices that bind them and keep them in poverty.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Mapuche
People Name in Country Mapuche, Araucanian
Population this Country 134,000
Population all Countries 1,749,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 4
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 4  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed
Alternate Names Araucanian; Mapudungun
People ID 13526
ROP3 Code 106296
Country Argentina
Region America, Latin
Continent South America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Neuquén, Río Negro, and Chubut provinces; Mendoza province, possibly Buenos Aires.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Argentina
Region America, Latin
Continent South America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Neuquén, Río Negro, and Chubut provinces; Mendoza province, possibly Buenos Aires..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Language Mapudungun
Language Code arn   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Mapudungun
Language Code arn   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Mapudungun

Primary Language:  Mapudungun

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1901-1930)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1997-2011)
Bible-Complete No
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (Global Recordings Network)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (Faith Comes By Hearing)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Mapudungun
General Gospel resources links (Scripture Earth)
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file from Faith Comes By Hearing
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Mapudungun New Testament
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Ngünechen ñi Küme Dungu
Text / Printed Matter Download scripture in this language
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Roman Catholic
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 4.00 %)
80.00 %
Ethnic Religions
15.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
5.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
4.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
14.0 %
2.0 %
Roman Catholic
80.0 %
Photo Source Andy McCullough 
Map Source Wart Dark  
Profile Source Anonymous  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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