Promaucaes, also spelled as Promaucas or Purumaucas (quechua purum awqa: wild people), were an indigenous pre-Columbian Mapuche tribal group that lived in the present territory of Chile, south of the Maipo River basin of Santiago, Chile and the Itata River. Those to the north were called Quillotanes and Mapochoes by the Spanish colonists). They spoke Mapudungun, like the Moluche to the south, and were part of the Picunche tribe that lived north of the Itata River.
The Incas named all the populations that were not under their empire as puruma auca. These Picunche tribes were successful against the Inca Empire in the Battle of the Maule and were given this distinctive name. In an attempt at transliteration, the Spanish referred to them as the Purumaucas or Promaucaes. The early Spanish in the area knew their region as the province of Promaucae and its inhabitants were called Promaucaes.
The Promaucaes are the first inhabitants of the Rancagua Valley of whom there is a historical account. The Mapuche included them in the group that they knew as picunche, "people of the north". The Promaucaes, as has already been mentioned, constituted a distinct cultural unit separate from those Picunches who lived to the north of the Maipo, named mapochoes, and to the south of the Maule, designated maules and cauquenes. The Inca invaders noted their great military capacity and will to fight.
They were farmers and constructed some earthworks of irrigation. They left ceramic vestiges. Research has indicated[who?] that they initiated the construction of Pucara de La Compañia and a bridge of rope and wicker across the Cachapoal River.
The Incas in their expansion used the Pucará de La Compañia, which they strengthened. The Pcará was the southernmost Inca settlement then known. Inca expeditions in this territory were organized by Túpac Inca Yupanqui at the end of the 15th century and later by Huayna Cápac.
The history of this period is based on what was written in later chronicles. These chronicles indicate that the Promaucaes, informed about the coming of the Incas, allied themselves with the Antalli, Pincu and Cauqui subgroups, forming an army of 20,000 men. The Incas sent members of parliament in order that they recognize Túpac Inca Yupanqui as sovereign. The Purumaucas decided to face them in the so-called Battle of the Maule. During the confrontation, both sides suffered many fatalities and neither army won a clear advantage.
On the fourth day, neither side left their own camp, both of which had been fortified, as they hoped to defend them if their opponents attacked. The fifth and sixth days were passed in the same manner but by the seventh, the Purumaucas and their allies retired and returned home claiming victory. The Incas later considered chasing them, on which some chiefs agreed; but they decided to secure only what they had already conquered, with which Túpac Inca Yupanqui agreed.
Due to their proximity to the Inca Empire, the Promaucaes learned the new technology that the Incas displayed in their new domains.
Among the peoples the Spanish called the Promaucaes were particularly the people of the Rapel River valley. Those of the Mataquito River valley were called the Cures, for which the province of Curico is named. The people in the Maule River valley and to the south were distinguished as Maules. Those to the south of the Maules and north of the Itata River were known as Cauqui by the Inca  or Cauquenes. The Spanish named the Cauquenes River after them.
- Juan Ignacio Molina, Compendio de la historia civil del reyno de Chile, pg. 9. Named for Quillota, one of the settlements of the Inca Empire in Chile.
- Named by Francis Goicovich Videla and Osvaldo Silva Galdames in the article and the analysis on the "Battle of the Maule: Stopped the expansion Inca towards the south of Chile?"
- Juan Ignacio Molina, Compendio de la historia civil del reyno de Chile, pg. 9.
- Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Comentarios reales, 2da_VII_20 20
- Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Comentarios reales, Segunda Parte : Libro VII, Cap. 19, 20.
- Juan Ignacio Molina Compendio de la historia civil del reyno de Chile, Cervantes Virtual
- Larrain, Etnogeografía, Geography of Chile, Geographic Military Institute, Stgo. 1987; the XVIth: 147.
- Los Promaucaes, por Eduardo Téllez Lúgaro.
- The promaucaes in O'Higgins's Region, brief relation of the cultural and natural patrimony ", Carmen Del Río and Blanca Tagle.
- Marta Blanco, The Inca Garcilaso of the Vega, an Antarctic Indian (1539-1616)
- _ 2da_VII_18 Inca Garcilaso of the Vega, Royal (Real) Commentaries. The second Part, I Free the VIIth, Chapter 18
- _ 2da_VII_19 Inca Garcilaso of the Vega, Royal (Real) Commentaries. The second Part, I Free the VIIth, Chapter 19
- Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Comentarios Reales. Segunda Parte, Libro VII, Capítulo 20
- Alonso de Ercilla, La Araucana