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Araucanians (Mapuche): Homeric Spartans who colonised Chile

Featured Lautaro an Araucanian chief leader Lautaro an Araucanian chief leader

According to their own legends, the Mapuche or so called Araucanians by the Spanish, arrived in southern Chile about 3.000 ago at Homer's time.

Arrival date is not exactly known. They have the proof that this approximate date can be factual and not a myth: An astounding observation that they have recorded and it has survived all these years: they mention that after they arrived the sea level rose and the peninsula now called Chiloe became an island! Nobody has investigated when that happened.

Where is the peninsula Chiloe in Chile?

Geography teaches us that the rise in sea level took place at the end of the last Ice Age some 8,000 years BC when the sea level rose by about 100 metres. Therefore, it is possible that the early settlers arrived before 8,000 BC. The rise in sea level is also recorded in ancient Greek writings and has been proven by underwater beach deposits in several parts of the world.


If we look at the map of Chile today, we don’t find any peninsula. Instead we find an island called “CHILOE”. This Greek word means edge or land having the shape of lips and as a name peninsula, only in Greek and has survived since before the rise in the sea level when it was indeed a peninsula.

This is remarkable! Chiloe is the heartland of the Araucanians (Mapuche peoples) in the past and it is today as well. Chiloe is the southernmost habitable part of Chile.

Further south the land is inaccessible to humans due to treacherous mountains and violent volcanoes. Therefore, Chiloe is the “Hele” of the country, its most notable landmark. No wonder it has survived as the name of the country CHILE.

At right the map of Chile with the island of “Chiloe” arrowed in.

The name “Chile” pronounced “Hele” by the Araucanians (Mapuche)

In ancient Greek, “Hele” (ΧΕΙΛΗ=lips) therefore Chiloe (Χειλόη) means a ‘tongue, lips’, land having the shape of lips or protruding into the sea, a peninsula. In fact, there is an old Greek town with the same name in northern Asia Minor because it is located on such a promontory of land. Thus, Greeks usually “name” locations and towns with something that describes them. In this case, it is a promontory, called “Hele” in Greek, so that became the name of the human settlement on this promontory. Asia Minor, however, is now part of Turkey and the town’s name has changed.

A Book written by the Araucanian Lonko Kilapán "The Greek origin of the Araucanians"

In 1974, arts professor César Navarrete, publihsed a book entitled "The Greek origin of the Araucanians", original title, ”El origen griego de los Araucanos", under the pseudonym Lonko Kilapán.

The creation for the Araucans

The best way to start this article is to expand in another field, a field of pure poetry. Let's fly for a while with the wings of the araucanic Myth of Creation :

Zen-Zen (greek Ζεύς, Zeus) created Uentru, andras, (greek ανήρ-ανδρός = Man) and placed him in a valley in the Andes mountain range. However, because he was feeling alone, the Godess Gaia (greek γαία, Earth) pointed out to Zen-Zen the need of a companion for Uentru. So Zen-Zen created Kourre (greek Κούρρη or Κόρη) and placed her in another very remote valley, giving her the order: Search for Uentru.

She started looking for him, walking through hills, mountains, ravines and rough paths, until the hard gravel wounded her feet. As soon as Gaia realized that, she asked Zen-Zen to cover the gravel with a layer, and then he created the grass.

The woman could now run on a soft carpet, but her wounds didn't get better, and at the request of Gaia the God gave each herb a healing power.

Her feet, now, were healed and could run faster; however, the sun was burning her skin. The ever-alert Gaia that took care of everything intervened once again and Zen-Zen created a roof, the trees, so Kourre could run in the forest without problems.

Before long, the plants and the trees bloomed, filling the world with their scent and their colors. Kourre was picking the flowers of the plants and she was throwing them upwards; the petals were quivering, livened up and transformed into wings, and then they were flying in the open air having become butterflies, bees, and an endless variety of birds.

The rainbow appeared in the sky, having gathered all the colors of the flowers and was guiding Kourre in her search Until one day a mysterious music was heard, soft like the rose petals of the dawn under some stout koyan trees, in full bloom, by a river whose transparent water was flowing there was Uentru, who was composing music with the instrument called Trmp Then. Kourre understood what the music wanted to say and knew what love means.

What to admire first! Is it the clarity of perception? The vigilant Gaia-Mother Nature being always present to promote the creation process? The absolute respect for the woman as a vehicle and co-creator of life? The wonderful cooperation between Heaven and Earth? The role of music in the relationship between the Man and the Woman and the fact that the woman is the one who is searching for the man?

It is worth noticing that here there are no traumas, disobediences, betrayals, original sins and punishments. The love of god Zen (a word which is repeated in Araucanic denotes superlative degree : Zen-Zen -the Supreme God of Life, the Living (Ζων, Zon in Greek), Zeus) flows in a fatherly way towards his children and the presents reach the Earth through the woman, that's why she deserves any respect.

Besides being beautiful, this myth codifies many important things at the same time. To begin with, we notice that the Greek name Κourre (Κούρη or Κόρη, Koure or Kore in Greek means girl, young woman) with which the Araucans call the first woman, codifies the way of her creation: Kourre means the cut off (from the ancient verb keiro (κείρω) = cut); cut off, of course, from the whole Man and not only from one of his sides! The divine intervention (Zen) on the suggestion of the needs of the evolutionary process (Gaias) breaks the loneliness of the unit and a twosome is created so that the process of life can be put in effect. The Woman is searching for the Man in order to know the cause of her creation and the Man sustains her search, working with the music.

Who are the Araucans

The Araucans are a mysterious race of South America. This race has been greatly admired worldwide for its virtues and especially for its unyielding fighting spirit through recent History, since it successfully resisted for three and a half centuries and was never conquered by the Spaniards, either with the weapons or through religion.The surprising fact about these people is that they put up a stout and organized resistance against the superpower of those times, the Spaniards, who, with their supremacy in weaponry at that time, gave the impression that they acted as if they wanted to conquer even the stars, as the Araucan leader Antupillan stressed in one of his speeches in a nearly prophetic way in 1593 AD before the Governor Martin Onieth de Loyola, a speech which is preserved by Spanish chronographers.

The whole text of the amazing speech delivered by Antupillan, representing his nation, during the negotiations for the signing of one of the many treaties made with the Spaniards, is found in the book The Hellenic Origin of the Araucans of Chile.

The cradle of the Araucans, the area of Araucania, is in central-southern Chile, as we know it today, between the rivers Bio-Bio and Tolten, which, according to the araucanic traditions constitutes the heart of Chile.

Where did they derive their power from? Which was the origin and the perspective of these admirable people?

Until recently, only theories had been formulated, many of which approached and some of them actually touched the truth. These people belong to the white race, have European origin, reached Chile from the west, etc.

Their origin

According to what Lonko Kilapan revealead, who is the Epeutuve of the Araucanian race (in ancient Greek Epeotypis, Epeotagos (Επεοτύπης, Επεοταγός) means official historian, narrator of the epics), in about 600 to 800 BC a colonization expedition started from Greece, specifically from Sparta, and crossing Asia Minor they followed the traditional route towards the Far East, going through the north-east of India and reached the area of Laos which derives from the Greek word λαός (= a people). Later they went down the Peninsula of Malaysia, which is simply called Peninsula on the map of Ptolemy, and from there they passed in the Pacific Ocean, which the Greeks called simply Ocean, as the major Ocean of the Earth.

Using the island complexes of Indonesia, Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia as a bridge, they finally reached the Galapagos Islands (Galapagos, a compound word from the Greek words gala (γάλα) = milk, and pagos (πάγος) = rock, which means white rocks) and from there they went over to the American Continent (Peru). All the above island complexes have compound Greek names: Indo-nesia, Micro-nesia, Mela-nesia, Poly-nesia. The second word all of them consist of is nesia, meaning in Greek island complex, while the first one denotes a main property of these islands or their inhabitants. These names were not given by the navigators of the West but they had already been given.

Seeking an appropriate place for the settlement of the new colony, the Spartans were finally led to a latitude corresponding to that of Greece between the 36th and 40th parallel of latitude, in the south of the Equator. There they founded the new city –state and called the area Phyli (Φυλή), meaning race in Greek, from which derives the name Chile (Χιλή) the country has today. Ιn fact, the name Fyli existed as a place name in the Greek territory, too and besides its first meaning (from the verb fyo (φύω) = sprout, germinate, grow), it has also the meaning of preservation, the guardhouse (from the verb fylasso (φυλάσσω) = keep, preserve).

The role of the Oracle at Delphi

However, what did the Spartan colonists want to preserve and they really did so with unyielding strength miles away from their country on the other side of the Earth? Why did the Oracle at Delphi send out a Greek expedition to settle a colony and in particular a Doric one, that is to say a colony of warriors? Lonko Kilapan talks about antipodes (αντίποδες) of the southern hemisphere, meaning, the very opposite, while remarkable researchers in Greece (such as Taxiarhis Tsiogas, Evangelos Drougas, etc) have pointed out that The Greeks living outside Greece had chosen Colchid, ie Peru or else the Land of the Supernortherns (or the uper-southerns if you wish) as a second control point of the globe.

Delphi Oracle
The oracle of Delphi

It is well known that during these times, no colony expedition set off if it didn't have the approval and the recommendation of the Oracle first as far as the final destination is concerned as well as the route it should follow. So, the Oracle at Delphi was transformed into a kind of Colony Research Office of the whole Globe, and this is the reason why it ought to have filed the geographical knowledge of all the world known by then. It seems that for the Oracle priests, who apparently knew everything, the known world at that time was far broader than we think todayThe Oracle ought to have filed and recorded data about the coastline of South America, since it delegated Spartan colonists to settle there. In his wonderful book The Oracle at Delphi (Athens 1937, re-edited by Demiourgia Publications, Athens 1997), Dimitrios Goudis writes: Among its multifarious political activities, one of the extraordinary feats of the Oracle at Delphi was the vast Greek colonization, which lasted mainly three centuries, from the 8th to 6th century BC and continues: Because the Delphic priesthood had the broadest and most accurate geographical knowledge on these remote countries, too, and maintaining continuous and lasting bonds with every colony that was founded, it recorded all the geographical information which it received from there and, as a consequence, it had global and concise knowledge about a lot of countries. Therefore, nobody else could provide those who asked about them with more accurate information but this amazing centre, where people continuously concentrated from all over the world. The multifaceted and proficient priests of the oracle assiduously gathered and recorded all this information and constituted a world bank of geographical knowledge

Kilapan reveals that the Chilean leader maintained the name Apo since the old times, since his authority directly derived from god Apollo. The Araucans, laconically speaking (meaning briefly and concisely, according to the motto they lived by: Brevity is the soul of wit, used to cut the names; so, Apo-llon becomes Apo, Prometheus becomes Prom, Lycourgos becomes Courgo, etc. In particular the name Apo took the broader meaning of master, chief, being in charge in the Araucanic language, something that is in absolute accordance with the name Archagetas or Archigetis (meaning the principle leader) that the God was given in the Greek colonies. After all, Apollo was regarded as the main founder of the cities and he is said to have founded the city of Sparta, too. The most frequently encountered colony names were given after the god, such as: Apollonia, Pythopolis, Phoebe, Phoebia. At least twenty- five colonies with the name Apollonia are known and reported in ancient times (Stephanos Byzantios, Ethnika - The Nationals. Great Geographical Dictionary of ancient Cities, Places and Nations). According to D. Goudis, the Oracle at Delphi really accomplished a magnificent feat, which cant be compared to any other in the worlds history. We dont have the means to know what ingenious plan it followed to spread the Greek colonies all over the Globe, at carefully chosen key spots. What we do know, however, is that the Araucans kept their secrets safely for over 2000 years. Its like a time capsule that opened in due time.

The Araucanic calendar

According to the Araucanic calendar we are already in the year 2804. This time measuring almost coincides with the Olympic calendar; it is called Olympic, since the first Olympiad, held in 776 BC, is taken as the conventional starting point of time measuring, which is close to the year 800 BC of the Araucanic calendar.

Their nation

Their nation was founded based on the Greek standards, both geographical and political ones. Chile was in the middle, Pikunches (pikun = north) in the north, Williches (willi = South), while on the Andes side there were the Peuelchses (puel = East). All these allied peoples had the same gods, the same language, the same laws, used the same weapons, dressed the same way, but they had their own independent government and only in case of war they were united under one common leader.

The Spartan colonists brought the legislation of Lycourgos with them, which they used in their cities. As time passed, it was called Admapu which means the law of the ancestors, the ancestral moral standards. They brought the same gods and maintained the same traditions.

Some typical examples are: the oracles where Machi (Mantis in Greek μάντις, means diviner) performed the rituals having duties of a priestess like the ones of Pythia, the same sacred tree, the same weapons and the same training as in Greece, the myth of Siren, and the same wedding ceremony that involved the bride's kidnapping, according to the model of Mythology. As time passed, their population stabilized at 360,000 people and was shared among nine cities of 40,000 people each. This perfect number aimed at a perfect organization based on the Greek state rule- which was later referred by Aristotle that a city must not have either more or fewer than 40,000 dwellers, because in the first case it will be out of control (excess), whereas in the second case it won't even be a city (deficiency). To put it more simply, more dwellers would cause the problem of lack of food and accommodation for the rest; on the other hand, fewer dwellers would be vulnerable to a potential external attack.

The Araucans had solved this problem the same way as the Spartans did: they controlled the birth rate, did away with the defective ones at birth, caused sterilization to certain women who shouldn't have children, and they had enacted a law that accepted polygamy, so, this race systematically touched and put into practice higher standards of beauty, psychosomatic health and integrity, meaning that it exceedingly developed all those virtues that characterized the man warrior.

Their numerical system

The numerical system of the Araucans is a copy transfer of the decimal system of the Greeks, although the names of the numbers have not been maintained except the one that constitutes the basis of the system: number ten. The hands denoted number ten, since the fingers are ten (= deca in Greek); and this is where the name of the system decimal (deca-dico) derives from. In the Araucanic language ten is called mare and μάρη in ancient Greek means hand. In Greek we still use today the compound word ευ-μάρεια (ευ+μάρη, meaning good+hand) which means high skill at hands (ευ-χέρεια), mainly financial.

The art of measurement has three stages: firstly, one measures using objects and defining the measuring units; at the second stage the numbers have their own names and form complex numerical systems; finally, at the third stage a rational numerical system with written symbols appears, which is used by the civilized people. It's important to notice the rationale behind the araucanic numerical system in order to understand their cultural grounds, since, according to Pythagoras, the number is civilization proof as the wisest of all beings.

The Promethean notation

Imagine that you are given a colourful textile as a present and that you decorate your house with it, without suspecting for once that there is possibly coded knowledge hidden there, that would eventually change your life or at least your outlook on life. This is somehow what happens with the textile notation of the Araucans, which they call Prom (from abbreviation of the name Prom-etheus, Prometeo).

But I found the number, profound wisdom, and the letter matching. Mother of the Arts, the labor and the memory, says Prometheus, referring to his presents to humanity.

The numerical calculation using the threads of the Prom notation is done as follows:



Light blue


































































  • The units are represented by corresponding knots on a red thread.
  • The tens on a yellow thread
  • The hundreds on a light blue thread
  • The thousands on a green thread
  • The millions on a black thread

Every thread had ten divisions and the number should be placed at the point where it crossed another type of thread since each thread was divided into ten equal parts with other kinds of threads (except the five principle ones). For example, in the second battle of the Araucans against the Inkas, 250,000 invaders clashed with 30,000 Araucan fighters. The first number is recorded as shown in the figure.

We must make clear that this notation system is read from right to left.

Writings read this way have been found in Sparta, too. If the number was a round figure, for example 4,000, there was a knot on a level with four on the green thread. If the number was higher, for example 9,000,000, then the knot was made on a level with nine on the black thread. When the number was higher than 10,000 or 10,000,000, the quantity was marked on the thread of the tens or the hundreds and the order of the thousand or the million was shown with a knot on the corresponding thread. Then the number was read starting from the bigger quantity.

The Araucanic language

According to what was handed over to Lonko Kilapan by his teacher and predecessor Epeutuve Kanio, when the Greek colonists arrived from the West, they faced the dilemma whether they should try to teach their language to the natives they mixed with or learn the language spoken in this country, the so called mapudugu and they were inclined to the second alternative but they applied the grammatical rules of their own language. At the same time they taught the natives the basic words of their language, such as Zeus or Zan (Zen), Gaia (Gue), etc. Besides, many place names that are still maintained today given to mountains, rivers, islands, villages and areas in Chile are of Greek origin, such as the Andes (= those who please, delight, from the Greek verb ανδάνω), Aimon (= bloodlike, from the Greek word αίμων, αιματώδης), Κoriko (= Κώρυκος, place name in Greece), Kido (from the Greek word Κύδος meaning honored glory), Acuileo (= Αχιλλεύς, Achilles), etc.

The Araucanic vocabulary is so rich that exceeds that of many modern languages. Based on an initial estimation and pointing out the fact that the Araucanic was not a written language, Lonko Kilapan asserts that at least 20% of the vocabulary still in use today is Greek.

Certain words have been maintained unchanged and others have been corrupted in the course of so much time and many of them have been abbreviated following the grammatical rule of contraction (synaeresis) and they are not easily recognizable.

When they refer to the earth as land, soil, they use the word mapu, while when they refer to the Earth itself, as the globe, as a feminine living entity, they use the word Gue, that is Gaia (Γαία in Greek means Earth).

The relationship of the Araucans with light is typical of them, since they live, move and exist in accordance with it. In all the modern civilized languages the same word is usually used to denote the various kinds of light using more than one word (periphrastically).

In Araucanic, however, each type of light is denoted with its separate name; so, the Araucans call:

  • pelon light in general
  • ellabun the light of dawn
  • aipin the light of the sun
  • ale the light of the moon
  • airkun the light of the stars, etc.

This variety is really amazing, since they don’t use the same root to denote the various kinds of light. In Greek there is something similar, but we ought to notice that the corresponding words are compound, at least those which are known and are still in use today, such as:

  • light of dawn is called lycavges (λυκαυγές)
  • light of dusk lycophos (λυκόφως) and mouchroma (μούχρωμα)
  • light of the Sun in one word is heliophos (ηλιόφως)
  • light of the moon selinophos ληνόφως) and phegarophoto (φεγγαρόφωτο) etc.

Τhe Araucans have different words to denote the sea wave and the river wave, the fruit-bearing trees and the non-fruit-bearing trees; they have a name for each ore, for each star, for the soul and the spirit; they have words for abstract notions, such as kigneuen, meaning unity, etc.

Gne-chen is the Creator in Araucanic, the Gene-tor of the world (Γενέ-τωρ in Greek means the one giving birth to everything). From the first part of the word its Greek origin is clearly declared.

How did the Araucanic race maintained the knowledge of its Hellenic Origin?

Patroklos body
Homer Iliad: The fight around Patroclos body

To this really burning question Lonko Kilapan, Epeutuve of the Araucanic Race, answers (in a letter of his in the autumn of 1995) using sound arguments, that are worth making the Greeks of Metropolitan Greece think. We transfer his answer in his exact words, along with the answers to other important questions that I had and that you probably have, too:

How was the knowledge of the Hellenic origin maintained in the Araucanic Race?

Science and History in all the races were in the hands of the higher classes: governors, militiamen and priests who, in the course of time, mixed with the common people and together with them Science and History disappeared, as it is the case of the Mayas, the Incas, the Egyptians, etc. This could never happen in the Araucanic Race, which, having predicted such a thing has always had three Historians who mustn't know each other. Each one of them ought to have a Team, consisting of all the ages, and it was from this team that the successor Historian came. As far as I am concerned, I have 25 persons, scattered from the north to the south of the country, who no one else knows, and their ages range from 6 to 72 years old. All of them have parapsychological abilities (this is required by law), excellent memory, developed judgement and sense of responsibility in the facing of each hardship. Nobody can narrate a historical fact accurately. He will be likely to add his own things and forget others, but he can only narrate a fact that concerns one of his ancestors though not in public. In this case the Historian must be asked to do it.

Are there possibly any other publications or pertinent statements before the publication of your book (in 1974)?

No, because the release to the public of a part of our History and the handing over of military secrets to the Chilean Army was decided in the Senate Council in 1972. There are only publications of mine in newspapers and magazines, because no one can write about History, as I previously explained.

What is the present situation of the Araucans in Chile? Are they conscious of their Hellenic Origin?

During the afternoon discussions the origin of the Race is always stressed and if the meeting is especially important, the Historian is asked to be present. We are scattered all over Chile, at the Universities, in the Armed Forces, in the Navy, in the Air Force, etc. If all of us remained in our land, we would experience the ravages of time after each generation and we would end up being in the same situation as Mapuches, who didn't do what we did and this is why very few are left in the plains.

Is the Araucanic Language and writing maintained? Is the Araucanic Language taught in the schools of Chile?

The language is maintained as well as the writing with the use of triangles that is morphologically similar to the writing of the numbers. Five years ago, I was in charge of a seminar for teachers of the Araucanic Language and today it has been introduced experimentally in the Primary Schools.

When was the Araucanic Confederation founded and what are its purposes?

There has always been the Araucanic Confederation, only the name has been adapted to contemporary standards. Its purpose is to make the Chileans live the way we do, adopt our Law and control the birth rate, because the overpopulation is the cause of all the wars worldwide.

Are there Araucans in Argentina?
When was, first the word Arauco established and what does it mean?

There are no Araucans in Argentina. The Mapuche Race lived there and came to Chile in the previous century trying to avoid the persecutions which mainly occurred when General Roca was in power. We are generally in contact with the Argentineans. I wrote in the newspaper Kuyo of Mendosa. The Andes mountain range is not the barrier that separates but the backbone that unites Chile and Argentina. The word arauco comes from the similarly called area Rauco in the south of the river Bio-Bio from where Araucania starts. The Spaniards called the inhabitants of this area Raucans and the poet Erthiya (Ercilla in Spanish) spread the name A-raucans. The word Rauco is derived from the verb Raun = flow noisily (Ρέειν in Greek which means flow) and the noun Co = water. Therefore, Rauco (and Arauco) means a place where the roar of the water sounds.

Do you claim that there are no traces of a Greek presence in whole America but Chile How do you explain this?

What I personally attest is that from Chile and towards the West there are Greek and Araucanic words everywhere, whereas from Chile towards the East there aren't in Argentina and Brazil, or at least there aren't in the maps.

Is the poet Pablo Neruda Araucan?

Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda, Canto General: ...the Araucans my
   ancestors and The Greek blood is coming down to
   the seas of Chile...

Yes. He was born on the borders of the ancient country of the Araucans (Yekmonsche), between the rivers Maule and Bio-Bio. Neruda was conscious of his origin and that's why he makes a reference to the heroes of Araucania and he wrote in the Canto General, the one you mention: the Araucans my ancestors and The Greek blood is coming down to the seas of Chile...

Lonko Kilapan, an indigenous Mapuche historian and president of the Araucanian Language Academy wrote a book on “The Greek Origin of the Araucanians of Chile”, which was translated into Greek and is now (2003) in its third Greek edition. He gives an exhaustive evidence of the similarity of the two languages, names and customs. The Nobel winning Chilean poet, Pablo Nerouda used to say that he has “Greek blood in his veins”.

Similarity of the two languages

The similarities in the language, religion & customs between the Greeks and the Mapuche are indeed spectacular, but the best match on the subject of the language, I think, can be made between the Mapuche language (called Mapudungun) and very archaic Greek language, such as from the age of Homer.

As additional proof we present some Araucanian names and their Greek origin:

The Mapuche describe their language as derived from the sounds of nature including animals, birds, trees, wind, rain, etc

Moreover, many words are similar to very ancient Greek words. But how old are they, no precise dates are known as there was no writing back then. It is assumed that the poems of Homer were written down eventually around 800 B.C after they were passed by word of mouth for generations. But such legends can survive for long periods of time. The Cree legends of Canada’s indigenous peoples have only been written in the last two hundred years, after being preserved unwritten for centuries.

Therefore, Homeric language could have ‘started’ thousands of years ago. Officially, writing was established around 776 B.C. with the first Olympic Games and then we had the Age of the Classical Greek of the philosophers, orators, poets, and scientists of the third century B.C. That language, however, was slightly modified from the earlier Homeric age Greek.

Migrations of early Greeks could have carried the early forms of the Homeric language with them into far away places. However, languages evolve with time, so in the end they may only preserve some Greek roots. This is exactly what is found in the Mapuche language today. Moreover, some words are identical in both languages and this is indeed extraordinary

Ancient Greek pronunciation

It should be noted that the pronunciation of Homeric Greek words is not known, therefore, its spelling is only approximate. It has been observed that no spelling mistakes have been seen anywhere in ancient Greek writings. This is because, no spelling mistakes were possible, each letter had a specific sound. This is not so in modern Greek, where many vowels and diphthongs have the same sound today, yet different vowels are given to specific words. The only reason for their spelling today, is that they were passed along from ancient Greek words who may have been pronounced differently.

For example, in the modern word ‘nike’, or 'νίκη' in Greek meaning victory, both 'ϊ' or 'η' have the same sound today, yet in the original ancient Greek word they probably had slightly different sounds. The ancients never made a spelling mistake, but in modern Greek spelling mistakes are common, for example, switching 'ϊ' or 'η' would not make a difference in the pronunciation of this word

Word comparisons

The Mapuche God of Creation is ‘NGENECHEN’ pronounced Genesis, the ancient Greek word. So, here we have exactly the same word used by the Greeks and the Mapuche!
The word did not come from the Spanish, this is their own original, indigenous word.

Mapuche: ‘MAPU’ is for ‘land’ and ‘CHE’ stands for ‘people’. The most ancient name for ‘Greeks’, was the ‘Acheans”. Here, there is similarity in their names. One of their dialects is called ‘NGOLUCHE’ which is pronounced like ‘glossa’, or ‘language’ in Greek.
Again, we have identical names by both peoples, yet so far away from each other.

Words in Religion and Culture

"PITREN" their oldest religion could be derived from the oldest known religion in Greece associated with the Delphic oracle, or ‘Pytho’, the ancient name for ‘Delphi’.

"MACHI", the interpreter of the oracle, doctor, sorcerer, or shaman compares with the Greek equivalent ‘manti’ (greek μάντις). In Greece, no sound instruments were known to accompany the ceremonies with the ‘manti’, but were prominent with the MACHI.
However, Apollon was the God of music and was responsible for killing Python, the sacred snake at Delphi and became in charge of the oracle at a later time. Thus, there is some relationship between the oracle and music in both instances.

"KULTRUN" has a Greek equivalent in ’koloos’ or ‘sound’.
"Tru" was the Greek word for ‘sound’, and compares well with the Mapuche word for ‘sound, ‘TRUTRUCAS’.

"PIFILKA" the wind instrument has perhaps an equivalent in the Greek verb ‘pifafsko’, to ‘make presentation of sound’.

"KALCU" the sorcerer may be equivalent to ‘Kalhas' the famous ‘manti’ of the ancients Greece who took part in the Trojan War and predicted the outcome of that war.

Their most sacred site, or altar ‘REWE’ (pronounced exactly like Rea in Greek) is probably named after ‘Rea’, the mother of Cronus, the mother of Zeus. So, here we have identical Gods, yet so far away.

The family house "RUCA" was thatched, its Greek equivalent was ‘ropas’ which means branches and sticks of living trees.

The head of family is "CACIQUE", or ‘cacignitos’ in ancient Greek. This Mapuche name is also found as far north as the indigenous Crees of Canada meaning the same thing.

The oldest man was the chief, or "TOKI". This compares with ‘tokas’ in ancient Greek with the same meaning.

A small family group is "LOF", has the Greek equivalent in either ‘lohos’ that stands for a group of people, or ‘lofos’, which stands for the headdress.

Names of famous Mapuche Heroes and Leaders have also comparable Greek roots:

Lautaro, compares with ‘Eleuthero' which means free or freedom.
Alkaman (greek ΑΛΚΑΜΕΝΗΣ ; Alkamenis)
Antimanki (greek ΑΝΤΙΜΑΧΟΣ ; Antimachos)
Elikura (greek ΕΛΙΚΩΡΟΣ ; Elikoros)
Krinno (greek ΚΡΙΝΩΝ ; Krinon)
Kedoman (greek ΚΕΔΟΜΕΝΗΣ ; Kedomenis)
Nekuleo (greek ΝΙΚΟΛΑΟΣ ; Nikolaos)
Antigueno (greek ΑΝΤΙΓΟΝΟΣ ; Antigonos)
Elikurao(greek ΕΛΙΚΩΡΟΣ ; Elicuros)
Alimano (greek ΑΛΙΜΕΝΗΣ ; Alimenis)
Andalio (greek ΑΝΔΑΛΙΩΝ ; Andalion)
Nerudas (greek ΝΕΡΟΥΔΑΣ ; Nerudas)

MICHIMALONGO , compares with ‘machimon’, which stands for ‘strong’, and ‘someone who likes war’.

PELANTARU, compares with ‘pelor (modern greek pelorios)’ which stands for ‘great man’, and ‘someone who wins in war’

ULMEN, the ‘wise men’, or ‘elders’ of the community is ‘oulamos’ in ancient Greek. The same name is also found in the Crees of Canada.

For dressing they wore ‘CHAMMALL’, ‘kalymma’ in Greek with a ‘TRARIWE’ or ‘mitri’ in Greek. Women wore the ‘QUIPAN’ or ‘chiton’ in Greek.

For weaving, Mapuche used a spindle ‘COLIU’, in ancient Greek they used ‘kolops’.

AYUN, the word for ‘love’, literally means ‘dawn’, or ‘rising sun’. Thus, it resembles closely the ancient Greek ‘avgi’ which has the same meanings.

CHOL meaning trees, sounds more like ‘chloe’, with similar meaning.

Many more words deriving from Greek words exist in Araucanian language we cannot show here.


Last modified onFriday, 16 November 2018 12:14
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