Puelche people

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"Puelches" redirects here. For the town in Argentina, see Puelches, La Pampa.
This article is about the Puelche ethnic group, for the wind see: Puelche (wind)

Puelche (Mapudungun: pwelche, " people of the east") is the name that the Mapuche used to give the ethnic groups who inhabited the lands to the east of the Andes Mountains (in Argentine territory and some valleys of Chile) including the northern Tehuelches and Hets, these last ones were also known as the Pampas or Querandíes. By the end of the 18th century the survivors of the plagues and epidemics that annihilated these ethnic groups were aculturated in a process of Araucanization by Mapuche immigrants, so that in the 19th century the ethnically mixed group formed was basically Het and Tehuelche but Araucanized linguistically and culturally.

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