Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/753

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679

ARAUCANIA


679


ARAUCANIANS


stranpe Interpretations of numbers anil names. He endeavours to praise St. Peter at the expen.se of St. I'aul and tlic other Apostles. His style and versification are fairly correct, antl he cleverly evades the entanglements of symbolism. Some of his well-turned verses prove that, with another subject, Arator coulil have become a vif;orous writer. The poem was very successful. \it;ilius had the author read it in public at the church of St. Peter ad Vincula. The reading lasted four ilays, as the poet had to repeat many passages by reciuest of his audience. His works remained popular iluring the Middle Ages, wlien they became classics. We have also two addre.s.ses m di.stichs written by .\rator to the Abbot Florianus and to Vigilius, as well as a letter to Par- thenius. The two latter contain biographical de- tails. The date of the poet's death is unknown.

K.litiona : .\iiNTZE.s- (Ziitphi-n, ITI.O): also in P. L., I.XVIII, 03-240; Hi iinkh i Nii>^i'. IK.-,0).— ICbkht, AUncmeine Gtschuhte der Literatur tits MitttUilU-rs im Abetuiland (Leipzig, 18««), I, 5H s<ni.

Paul Lejay.

Araucania, Prefectuke ArcsroLic of, in Chile, established by Leo XIII in 1901, and confided to the Capuchins. It has twenty-eiglit mi-ssionaries.

li.KTT.lNDIKR, -Inn. Pont. Cath. (Paris, 1900), 343.

Axaucanians (also Araucans, Moluches, Ma- piiHKs). — I'lie origin of the word is not yet fully ascertained. A numerous tribe of warlike Indians in southern Chile, ranging originally (in the early part of the sixteenth century) from 36° S. lat. to about 42° S. lat., and from the Andes in the East (70° W. long.) to near the coast. To-day they are limited to something like the North American "reser- vations" in the same region. In 1898, they were said to number 73,000, which figure is probably exag- gerated. But they are one of the most numerous Indian tribes surviving, as such, in America. When first met by the Spaniards in the middle of the sixteenth centurj', the .\raucanians formed a league of clans, or aillaragues , some foity in number, scat- tered over four geographical ranges called by them Butalmapu. Their mode of government was, and is even now, very ruilimentary. The so-called ulmenes, or chiefs, exercise little authority. In case of imuii- nent danger, a war chief, or toqui, was chosen by a general council, at which the aillaratfues would \x as fully i-epresented as po.ssible. The toqui exercisco his discretionary authority as long as a war lasts, or as long as he is successful, or the medicine-men supjiort him. The latter, who are neither more nor less than sorcerers, or shamans are numerous among the Araucans and wield great power through their oracu- lar utterances. When the Sp.-mianls first came in contact with the Araucanians, ui 1G.')0, tlic latter were a sedentary tribe, dwelling in wooden buildings, and, like all Indians, constantly in conflict with their neighbours. The land was tilled on a modest scale, chiefly by women. Tlicre are no evidences that the Araucanians were exceptionally aggressive, although towards their northern neighbours, the Purumaucans, they entertained a special enmity. However, with the successive estaljlishment of three Spanish towns by Valdivia the conqueror of Chile, their apprehensions were arou.sed, and hostilities ensued. The first en- counters resulted unfavourably for the .Araucanians, to whom the weapons and tactics of the Spaniards were a surprise. Hut they soon Ix^gan to learn. Valdivia invaded the range of Arauco, and was com- pletely defeated on 2 Doiember, 1.5.53, his force of 500 men annihilated, and !iini,self killed. The tactics then made use of by the Indians under the leadership of the toqui Caupolican and a young Indian named Lautaro, showed military iiualities hitherto unolv served among the American aborigines. War with the Araucanians thereafter went on for nearly two centuries with varj'ing success, and no impression


wius made upon the Indians, who displayed unusual grasp, [lerspicacity, and aptitude for improvement m everything relating to warfare. They soon made use of t he horse and organized a cavalry capable of op|X)sing the Spanish in the open field. They also made u.se of artillery in a limited way. In the be- ginning, their weapons had been exceedingly primi- tive. S|)eai-s or lances, with points of hard wood, flint, wooden clubs, and clubheads of stone consti- tuted the arms with which they at first successfully encountered the Spanish soldiers. While the Arau- canians made rapid progress in everything connected with the art of war, and in this way became formida- ble enemies to |)eaceable culture and the de\elopment of the Christian nii.ssions, they adopted the arts of peace very slowly and imperfectly. Maintaining the .system of rudimentary social organization to which they were accustomed, :md refractorj' to improve- ments that would have bettered their general condi- tion, they continued a menace to everything around them without perceiving that they were being grad- ually enveloped by a culture intellectually superior, with which it was impossible for them to cope. Sev- eral treaties of [wace, or rather truces, were success- ively made, and observeil for a number of years, but it was only after 1792 that conditions became settled, the Araucanians continuing to occupy most of the territory held by them originally, and the Spanish colonies on its outskirts enjoying comparative quiet. At present these Indians maintain their autonomy. They preserve their original social organization, polygamy, and religious customs. Still, being sur- vivals of primitive conditions, tliey have either to disappear or to assimilate civilization. Smallpox decimated them in 1561, and other deleterious in- fluences, like alcoholism, thin their ranks slowly but surely.

The religious ideas of the Araucanians are the pantheisni and fetishism common to all Indians. Dread of natural phenomena, and especially of volcanic activity, so prominent in Chile, is the basis of their creed. To soothe such powers, which ap- pear to surround man and threaten him on all sides, an army of shamans is required, and these control the inner and outer life of every member of the tribe. In the midst of the almost incessant wars carried on bj' tliem for more than two centuries, the efforts of the missionaries were of little avail The Jesuits came to Chile in 1593, and twelve years later ^'ega, one of their nimiber, had already written a grammar and a dictionary of the Araucanian language, which is lost. In 160() Valdivia followed with similar works and a method of confession [Dahlmann, Sprachkunde und Mi.ssionen (Kreiburg, 1901), 78,79]. The foundation of Jesuit colleges at Valdivia, Arauco, and elsewhere, about 1594, furnished a base of operations for the efforts made to penetrate the Araucanian countrj'. Neverthe- less, in 1845, only twelve missions existed on the frontiers of what now might be called the Araucanian reservation. A tribe so saturated as this with fetish- ism and shamanism, apparently justified by a long series of military successes, inaccessible to progress in any other line than the art of war, will only Ijecome approachable in proportion as mental and moral degradation, resulting from isolation, causes it to we:iken. Despite the almost insurmountable ob- stacles which the Araucanians opposed to Chris- tianizing efforts, the Jesuit missionaries have for three centuries laboured with untiring zeal to convert them.

The earliest dorumentj^ relntine to Chile and the .-Vrauca- ninns are emboilio<i in the Colrccidn tir documentoa para la hUtorin tie Chile, by Jost Toribio .Mf.pina, publisheil at Suntiatfo. There arc also ver.v early documents (mostly re- puhhsheil in this collection) in the well-known Caleccian de documrtiUis de Initiafi, etc. More widely spread is the fame of several poetical works (thoiifch of less poetic than historical v.ilue), the mo.st conspicuous of which is the Araueaivi. hy Al.oNso i)K Kkcili.a. The lirst part of this poem appeare.l ir