was a famous Mapuche
The Mapuche are a group of indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina. They constitute a wide-ranging ethnicity composed of various groups who shared a common social, religious and economic structure, as well as a common linguistic heritage. Their influence extended...
warrior during the early part of the Arauco War
The Arauco War was a conflict between colonial Spaniards and the Mapuche people in what is now the Araucanía and Biobío regions of modern Chile...
. He fought and was taken prisoner along with one hundred and fifty other Mapuche, in the Battle of Lagunillas
The Battle of Lagunillas was a battle in the Arauco War on November 8, 1557 between the army of García Hurtado de Mendoza and the Mapuche army near some shallow lakes a league south of the Bio-Bio River.-History:...
against governor García Hurtado de Mendoza. Tried for insurrection, these prisoners were condemned to amputation of their right hand and nose, others like Galvarino had both hands cut off . Galvarino and the rest were then released as a lesson and warning for the rest of the Mapuche. Mendoza sent him to inform general Caupolican
Caupolicán was a Toqui, the military leader of the Mapuche people of Chile, that commanded their army during the first Mapuche rising against the Spanish conquistadors from 1553 to 1558....
of the number and quality of the people which had entered their land again, to put some fear into him, among other means that were tried, so that he might submit without coming to blows .
When returning to the Mapuche he appeared before Caupolicán and the council of war, showing them his mutilations, crying out for justice and a greater rising of the Mapuche against this Spanish invader like the one of Lautaro
Lautaro was a Mapuche military leader and protagonist of the War of Arauco in Chile. He defeated and exterminated the Spanish forces of Governor Pedro de Valdivia and was almost able to expel them from the area when he was killed in battle.-Early life:...
. For his bravery and gallantry he was named by the council to command a squadron. With knives fastened on both mutilated wrists replacing his hands he fought next to Caupolicán in the following campaign until the Battle of Millarapue
The Battle of Millarapue that occurred November 30, 1557 was intended by the Toqui Caupolicán as a Mapuche ambush of the Spanish army of García Hurtado de Mendoza that resulted in a Spanish victory when the ambush failed.-History:...
where his squadron fought against that of governor Mendoza himself.
He came commanding as a sergeant and animating his men this way: "Ea, my brothers, see that you all fight very well, you do not want be as I am without hands, so that you will not be able to work nor to eat, if you do not give it to them!" And he raised those arms on high, showing them to cause them to fight with more spirit and saying to them: "Those that you are going to fight with cut them, and also will do to whichever of you they take, and nobody is allowed to flee but to die, because you die defending your mother country". He moved ahead of the squadron a distance, and said with a loud voice that he would die first and though he no longer had hands, that he would do what he could with his teeth.
Jerónimo de Vivar, Crónica
, Capítulo CXXXIII.
"My Brothers, why have you stopped attacking these Christians, seeing the manifest damage that from the day which they entered our kingdom until today they have done and are doing? And they still will do to you what you see that they have done and they are doing? And still they will do to you what you see that they have done to me, cut your hands off, if you are not diligent in making the most of wreaking destruction on these so injurious people for us and our children and women".
Pedro Mariño de Lobera, Crónica del Reino de Chile
, Libro 2 Capítulo IV
However Mendoza's command broke Galvarino's division after over an hour of combat and won the battle killing three thousand Indians, and captured more than eight hundred including him . Mendoza ordered him to be executed by being thrown to the dogs.
In the book La Araucana
La Araucana is an epic poem in Spanish about the Spanish conquest of Chile, by Alonso de Ercilla; it is also known in English as The Araucaniad...
, written by Alonso de Ercilla
Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga was a Spanish nobleman, soldier and epic poet from the Basque Country. While in Chile he fought against the Araucanians, and there he began the epic poem La Araucana, considered the greatest Spanish historical poem. This heroic work in 37 cantos is divided into three...
, he explains that the real death of Galvarino was by hanging.
- Jerónimo de Vivar
Jerónimo de Vivar was a Spanish historian of the early conquest and settlement of the Kingdom of Chile, and author of Crónica y relación copiosa y verdadera de los reinos de Chile....
, Crónica y relación copiosa y verdadera de los reinos de Chile (Chronicle and abundant and true relation of the kingdoms of Chile) ARTEHISTORIA REVISTA DIGITAL; Crónicas de América (on line in Spanish) Capítulo CXXXII, CXXXIII
- Pedro Mariño de Lobera
Pedro Mariño de Lobera was a Spanish conquistador and chronicler of the Arauco War in the Kingdom of Chile.-Biography:A professional soldier who served in the war between Spain and France, he went to the Americas in 1545. Mariño joined the forces of Pedro de La Gasca in Havana, Cuba, when he...
, Crónica del Reino de Chile , escrita por el capitán Pedro Mariño de Lobera....reducido a nuevo método y estilo por el Padre Bartolomé de Escobar. Edición digital a partir de Crónicas del Reino de Chile Madrid, Atlas, 1960, pp. 227-562, (Biblioteca de Autores Españoles ; 569-575). Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes (on line in Spanish) Libro 2, Capítulo II, III, IV