The mythology and religion of the indigenous Mapuche people of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina is an extensive and ancient belief system. A series of unique legends and myths are common to the various groups that make up the Mapuche people. These myths tell of the creation of the world and the various deities and spirits that reside in it.
In the mythology and beliefs of the Mapuche people, the machi "shaman", a role usually played by older women, is an extremely important part of the Mapuche culture. The machi performs ceremonies for the warding off of evil, for rain, for the cure of diseases, and has an extensive knowledge of Chilean medicinal herbs, gained during an arduous apprenticeship. Chileans of all origins and classes make use of the many traditional herbs known to the Mapuche. The main healing ceremony performed by the machi is called machitun.
Legends and mythical creatures
The most important myths are:
- Juan Luis Nass. Mitología mapuche. Volumen 40 de Colección 500 años. Colección 500 años (Ediciones Abya-Yala) ; 40. Volumen 40 de 500 años. Ediciones ABYA-YALA, 1991 (Spanish).