The Mapuche People call all their land ‘Wall Mapu’. This is the name of the territory they have historically inhabited – to different extents – from the Limarí River in the north of Chile to the Chiloé Archipelago in the South.

According to the specific territory they live in, different groups can be identified, such as the ‘Pikumche’ (‘Pikum’ = North), the ‘Pewenche’ (‘Pewenh’ = piñon), the ‘Lhafkenhche’ (‘Lhafkenh’ = the coast), and the ‘Williche’ (‘Willi’ = South).

The Williche are the people who currently inhabit the Los Ríos and Los Lagos regions in Chile, from Valdivia to the south of the Chiloé Island.

One of the williche ‘lof’ or communities that we can find in Alerce village (near Puerto Montt) is the ‘Ancestral Paillahueque Lof’, and you will read about them later!

What do you know about the Mapuche People?

Write three ideas on the lines below:

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Most people in Chile know that the Mapuche speak a language called ‘Mapuzugun’. What words from this language do you know or use? Make a list and compare it with your partner’s.