Mapuche Chile

This ancient civilization that still exists today in the South of Chile has gone through a difficult history, continually facing opposition, but the Mapuche have remained free and independent. One of the most fascinating figures in Mapuche culture is the Machi. She is a spiritual healer within the Mapuche community. Healing ceremonies are private affairs and highly ritualistic. The Machi has an extensive knowledge of medicinal herbs. Her training comes from an apprenticeship with an older Machi who guides the younger woman into the rights of weather prediction, dream interpretation, warding off evil and curing illnesses.