|• location||Junction of Turbio River and Claro River (Elqui)|
|• elevation||815 m (2,674 ft)|
|Basin size||9,826 km2 (3,794 sq mi)|
The Elqui River starts in the west Andes and flows into the Pacific Ocean near the Chilean city of La Serena. It is a wine and pisco producing area. Vicuña, the main town of the middle valley, was the home of Nobel Laureate poet Gabriela Mistral.
The invasive plant species Limnobium laevigatum is present in the river which is its northernmost locale in Chile.
Indigenous cultures of the Elqui Valley
About a quarter of the toponymy in Elqui Valley is of indigenous origin, overwhelmingly Quechua and Mapuche. There is scant Diaguita (Kakan) toponimy known in the area despite it being considered a homeland of that people by various authors. Quechua toponimy is related to valleys incorporation to the Inca Empire in the late 15th and early 16th-century. Some Mapuche toponimy posdates Inca rule, but other may be coeval or even precede it. Toponyms recognised as Nahua, Kunza, Diaguita, Aymara and Taino make together up less than 10% of the all placenames in Elqui Valley.
It is generally accepted that incorporation of north-central Chile to the Inca Empire was through warfare which caused a severe depopulation in the Transverse Valleys of Norte Chico, the wider Diaguita homeland. Chilean toponimy in Tarija, Bolivia, including "Erqui" along with other evidence have been interpreted to suggest that Incas deported defeated tribes from Elqui Valley to southern Bolivia. After or during conquest Incas would have settled foreign tribes in Elqui Valley, and ended up imposing Quechua placenames on the local geography. There is uncertainty about the date of these transfers. Chronicler Diego de Rosales tells of an anti-Inca rebellion in the Diaguita lands of Coquimbo and Copiapó concurrent with the Inca Civil War. This rebellion would have been brutally repressed by the Incas who gave rebels "great chastise".
- ^ a b (in Spanish) Cuenca del río Elqui Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ "Elqui Valley Wine Region". Retrieved 21 April 2014.
- ^ San Martín, Cristina; Contreras, Domingo; Vidal, Osvaldo; Solís, José Luis; Ramírez, Carlos (2021). "Distribución en Chile y colonización del río Cayumapu (Valdivia) por el macrófito acuático invasor Limnobium laevigatum" [Distribution in Chile and colonization in Cayumapu river (Valdivia) of the invasive aquatic macrophyte Limnobium laevigatum]. Gayana. Botánica (in Spanish). 78 (1).
- ^ a b c d e f Carvajal Lazo, Herman. "Toponimia indigena del valle de Elqui". Academia.edu (in Spanish). pp. 1–16. Archived from the original on 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2022-05-18.
- ^ Ampuero Brito, Gonzalo (1978). Cultura diaguita (in Spanish). Departamento de Extensión Cultural del Ministerio de Educación. p. 45.
- ^ Patiño, Roberto (January 20, 2019). "Churumatas y tomatas, la conexión chilena en Tarija". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved January 20, 2020.
- ^ a b c Cortés Larravide, Enrique (2016). "¿Existió un grupo llamado Copiapó en el valle homónimo? Reflexiones a partir de los testimonios coloniales". Revista Tiempo Histórico (in Spanish). 7 (12): 17–32.
- ^ a b Silva Galdames, Osvaldo (1983). "¿Detuvo la batalla del Maule la expansión inca hacia el sur de Chile?". Cuadernos de Historia (in Spanish). 3: 7–25. Retrieved January 10, 2019.