NOVEMBER 30, 1557


The Battle of Millarapue was intended by the Toqui Caupolicán to be a Mapuche ambush of the Spanish army of García Hurtado de Mendoza.  After his victory in the Battle of Lagunillas, Medoza ordered the amputation of the right hand of the captured Mapuche.  One Mapuche leader, Galvarino, lost both hands.  Mendoza next went into Arauco and camped at Millarapue.  The Mapuche army under Caupolicán tried an ambush at dawn on November 30 when the Spanish celebrated San Andres with a morning call of trumpets which was misinterpreted by the Araucanian as an alarm.  Believing their ambush was detected, Caupolicán ordered his army to attack. One Mapuche warrior,  Galvarino, swung his handless arms fitted with blades urging on his comrades. The battle lasted from dawn to early afternoon. Ultimately, the Mapuches lost 3,000 dead and 800 captured.  Captured leaders were hanged.  Galvarino was thrown to the dogs. 

Sources:  William Delong, “This Warrior’s Hands Were Cut Off – So He Replaced Them With Knives And Sought Revenge,” ati, 5/15/2018.  Retrieved 8/7/2019, Wikipedia
Sketch:  La Araucana, 1885.  Public Domain in the US:  Pre-1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less.

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