The spiritual belief of the Mapuche people is closely linked to the land and their natural environment from which the power of life emanates with the grace of a divine family known as ELMAPUN, ELCHEN, NGUNEMAPUN and NGUNECHEN, and which creates and sustains man and nature.

The existence of a celestial spiritual family is believed to be in constant interaction between the powers of good and bad. These powers express themselves in either chaos, destruction and uncertainty or order and harmony, thereby supporting or punishing man and nature. The Mapuche people are profoundly religious and are guided by the Machi, spiritual leaders (mainly women) who are the mediums of communication with the celestial family in order to maintain harmony and combat the malicious power of Wekufe (evil). The Machi's supernatural power is complemented by the sacred Kultrun (drum) they possess and play during their prayers and religious activities. The Machis are divided into various categories, from being solely spiritual, to being invested with the knowledge to cure and/or make people ill, through a spell. The Mapuche concept of their vision of the world is represented in the Kultrun (a symbol) which represents complex information and explains the configuration of the Mapuche world. Although traditionally the Mapuche are deeply religous, their beliefs are not presented in order to convert others. They hold the Nguillatun (religous ceremonies) every three or four years, which are conducted in private where non-mapuches are not encouraged to attend.

It is a common belief that neither man, animal, nor the most insignificant insect, could live without the grace of the great spirit, which comprises the amalgamation of the celestial family, ELMAPUN, ELCHEN, NGUNEMAPUN and NGUNECHEN, from which the Mapuche family both young and old is enriched. Ancestral beliefs are passed on from generation to generation.

here man is perceived as a integral part of nature interconnect with all the surrounding elements. The Mapuche people follow moral and ethical commitment to society, and to respect nature, therefore before using natures offerings, whether they be fruit or animals, they first ask permission and then give thanks to MAPUN KUSE-FUCHA.

R. Marhiquewun