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Josie Brumfield at Oct 08, 2018 10:09 AM

419

C H I L E.

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[Araucanians maj justly claim tlie merit of not be-
ing' ill this respect inferior to other nations. Their
games are very numerous, and for the most part
very ingenious ; they are divided into the seden-
tary and gymnastic. It is a curious fact, and
worthy of notice, that among the first is tiie game
of chess, which they call comienn^ and which has
been known to them from time immeniorial. The
game of quechu, which they esteem iiighiy, has a
great affinity to tliat of back-gammon ; but instead
of dice they make use of triangular pieces of bone
marked with points, which they throw with alittie
hoop or circle, supported by two pegs, as was
probably i\\e fritillus of the Ro.mans. The youth
exercise themselves frequently in wrestling and
running, ’i'hey are fond of playing at ball, which
is made from a species of rush, and called pilma.^
All their gymnsatic games, many of which re-
semble those of the European youth, require
strength, are well suited to their genius, and for
the most part serve as an image of war. What
has been said of the Araucanians does not altoge-
ther apply to the Puelches, or inhabitants of the
fourth uthal-mapu, situated in the Andes. These,
although they conform to the general custom of
the nation, always discover a great degree of rude-
ness and savageness of manners. Their name sig-
nifies eastern-men. They are of lofty stature,
and are fond of hunting, which induces them fre-
quently to change their habitations, and extend
their settlements, not only to tiie eastern skirls of
the Andes, but even to the borders of the lake Aa-
gitelguapi, and to the extensive plains of Patago-
nia, on the shores of the Atlantic. The Arauca-
nians hold these mountaineers in high estimation
for the important services which they occasionally
render them, and for the fidelity which they have
ever observed in their alliance with them.

Chap. IT.

The wars of the Araucanians with the Spaniards,
and concomitant events.

Sect. I. Comprising a period of nine years,
from 1550 to 1559.

I. The Toqui Aillavila . — It was in the year
1550, that the Araucanians, having resolved to
send succours to the inhabitants of Penco, who
were at that time invaded by the Spaniards, gave
orders to the Toqui Aillavila to march immediately
to tiieir assistance at the head of 4000 men : he
accordingly passed the great river Biobio, which
separates the Araucanian territory from that qf the
Pencones, and boldly offered battle to these ne-w
enemies, who had advanced to meet him to the
shores of the Andalien. After the first discharge

of musketry, which the Araucanians sustained
without being terrified or disconcerted, thus early
manifesting how little they would regard it when
rendered familiar by habit, Aillavila, with a rapid
movement, fell at once upon the front and flanks
of the Spanish army. Tiie Spaniards were con-
sequently thrown into much disorder, and their
general was exposed to imminent danger, having
had his horse killed under him, when Aillavila,
hurried forwards by a rash courage, received a
mortal wound. The Araucanians having lost their
general,-with many of their most valiant officers,
then retired, but in good order, leaving the field
to the Spaniards, who had no disposition to pur-
sue them. Valdivia, who had been in many bat-
tles in Europe as well as America, declared that
he had never been exposed to such imminent ha-
zard of his life as in this engagement.

2. The Toqui L.incoyan . — In the following year
the Araucanians w('re again led on to tiie attack by
a new toqui, Lincoyan ; when such was the ter-
ror inspired by their approach, that the Spaniards,
after confessing themselves, and partaking of the
sacrament, thought proper to take shelter under
the cannon of their fortifications. The event of
this battle was the cause of the foundation of the
chapel dedicated to St. James, which chapel was
built by the Spanish soldiers from sentiments of
gratitude, and from their supposition that the re-
treat of Lincoyan, who was unsuccessful in his
first attack, was caused by the supernitui'ai
agency of the apostle St. James himself, whom
they declared to have seen riding upon a white
horse with a flaming sword, and striking terror
into his enemies. The governor, after the elapse
of nearly a year, resolved to attack them with a
reinforcement he had just received from Peru : he
accordinglj^, unobstructed by the tardy operations
of Lincoyan, bent his way towards the shores of
the Cauten, which divides the Araucanian terri-
tory into two nearly equal parts.

3. Imperial founded . — At the confluence of this
river and that of Daraas, he founded the city of
Imperial, so called in honour of the Emperor
Charles the Fifth, or, as it is said by some, in con-
sequence of finding there eagles with two heads
cut in wood, and placed as ornaments upon the
tops of houses. This city was situated in a beau-
tiful spot, abounding with every convenience of
life; and during the short period of its existence
became the most flourishing of any in Chile. Its
position on the shore of a large river, of sufficient
depth for vessels to lie close to the walls, rendered
it a highly advantageous situation for commerce,
and would enable it to obtain immediate succour!

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419


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