Battle of Curalaba

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Battle of Curalaba
Part of Arauco War
Date December 21, 1598
Location Curalaba, on the banks of the Lumaco River, 25 kilometers from Angol
37°55′S 72°53′W / 37.917°S 72.883°W / -37.917; -72.883Coordinates: 37°55′S 72°53′W / 37.917°S 72.883°W / -37.917; -72.883
Result Decisive Mapuche victory
Belligerents
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg Spanish Empire Lautaro flag.svg Mapuche
Commanders and leaders
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg Martín García Oñez de Loyola  Lautaro flag.svg vice toqui Pelantaru
Strength
50 Spanish and 300 Indian auxiliaries 300 Warriors
Casualties and losses
All but two Spaniards were killed,[1] as were most of the Indian auxiliaries. ?

The Disaster of Curalaba is the name given to the battle (or surprise attack) between Spanish conquerors led by Martín García Óñez de Loyola and Mapuche people led by Pelantaru at Curalaba ("broken stone" in Mapudungun) in southern Chile. In Chilean historiography this event marks the end of the "Conquista" period in Chile's history, although the fast Spanish expansion in the south had already been halted in the 1550s.

History[edit]

On December 21, 1598, governor Martín García Oñez de Loyola traveled to Purén leading only 50 men. On the second day they camped in Curalaba without taking protective measures. The Mapuche people aware of their presence, with their cavalry led by Pelantaru and his lieutenants, Anganamón and Guaiquimilla, with three hundred men, shadowed his movements and made a surprise night raid. Completely surprised, the governor and almost all of his soldiers and companions were killed.

This event was called the Disaster of Curalaba by the Spaniards. It involved not only the death of the Spanish governor, but the news rapidly spread among the Mapuche and triggered a general revolt, long-prepared by the toqui Paillamachu, that destroyed Spanish camps and towns south of the Bío-Bío River over the next few years.

Additional information[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Spanish survivors were a priest, Bartolomé Pérez, who was captured, and Bernardo de Pereda, a soldier left for dead with 23 wounds who made his way to La Imperial after 70 days.

Sources[edit]