El Malón, Johann Moritz Rugendas (1802-1858)
La vuelta del malón (The return of the raiders) by Ángel Della Valle (1892)

Malón or maloca was a military raiding tactic of the Mapuche peoples from the 17th to the 19th centuries.

The "maloca" among the Mapuche is described as a means of obtaining justice, by Juan Ignacio Molina:

"The injured family often assumes the right of pursuing the aggressor or his relations, and of punishing them. From this abuse are derived the denominations and distinctions, so much used in their jurisprudence, of genguerin, genguman, gerila, &c. denoting the principal connections of the aggressor, of the injured, or the deceased, who are supposed to be authorized, by the laws of nature, to support by force the rights of their relatives."
"When those who are at enmity have a considerable number of adherents, they mutually make incursions upon each others possessions, where they destroy or burn all that they cannot carry off. These private quarrels, called malocas, resemble much the feuds of the ancient Germans, and are very dreadful when the Ulmenes are concerned, in which case they become real civil wars. But it must be acknowledged that they are generally unaccompanied with the effusion of blood, and are confined to pillage alone. This people, notwithstanding their propensity to violence, rarely employ arms in their private quarrels, but decide them with the fist or with the club."[1]

As a tactic against the Spanish, the malón or maloca, pioneered by leaders such as Lientur, consisted of a fast surprise attack by a number of mounted Mapuche warriors against the white (huinca) populations, haciendas, settlements and fortifications in Chile and Argentina, with the aim of obtaining horses, cattle, provisions and captives, often young women. The effectiveness of the tactic was that a rapid attack without formal order did not give sufficient time to organize a defense, and that it left behind a devastated population unable to retaliate or pursue.

In Chile, the Spaniards responded with a system of fortifications, La Frontera, garrisoned by a standing army that patrolled the border along the Bio Bio River. In Argentina, where Mapuches in the 19th century ravaged the southern frontier, the government responded by building wooden outposts and occasionally fortresses, e.g. Fortaleza Protectora Argentina and the Zanja de Alsina, a trench that covered hundred of kilometers across the Pampas to make incursions more difficult. Ultimately, the Argentine government invaded and succeeded in conquering Mapuche territory in the Conquest of the Desert of the late 1870s.



Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MALON (B.) — MALON BENOÎT (1841 1893) Né dans une famille de journaliers, Benoît Malon, dès l’âge de sept ans, travaille aux champs. Autodidacte, il monte à Paris en 1863 et se fait embaucher dans une teinturerie de Puteaux; il y anime en 1866 la grande grève …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Malon — Malon, a character in The Legend of Zelda series The Malon, an alien race from the Star Trek: Voyager television series. Malon, a village in Burkina Faso Malon, Homalin, Sagaing Region, Burma Malón or maloca a military raiding tactic of the… …   Wikipedia

  • malón — sustantivo masculino 1. Uso/registro: coloquial. Origen: Argentina, Uruguay. Pragmática: humorístico. Grupo grande de gente. 2. Uso/registro: coloquial …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • malón — (Voz mapuche). 1. m. Am. Mer. Irrupción o ataque inesperado de indígenas. 2. p. us. Felonía inesperada que alguien ejecuta en daño de otra persona, mala partida …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Malón — Para otros usos de este término, véase Malón (desambiguación). El malón por Mauricio Rugendas. El malón era una táctica militar de diversos pueblos indígenas, como los mapuches, que consistía en un ataque rápido y sorpresivo de un nutrido número… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Malon — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Synonymie Malon ou Malonte est la désignation pour les Malaisiens Patronyme Benoît Malon, militant de la Commune de Paris Malon de Bercy, famille noble… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • malón — ► sustantivo masculino 1 América Meridional Irrupción o ataque inesperado de indios, con saqueo y depredaciones. 2 América Meridional Grupo de personas que provocan desórdenes en espectáculos o reuniones públicas. 3 Argentina, Chile Visita… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • malón — 1. asalto de los indios; cf. kilombo; también a los españoles les tocó su parte de tragedia y muchas mujeres blancas fueron capturadas en los malones y nunca más volvieron a su civilización , parece que entre los indios del cono sur los malones… …   Diccionario de chileno actual

  • Malon — Original name in latin Maln Name in other language Malon, Maln State code ES Continent/City Europe/Madrid longitude 41.95235 latitude 1.67199 altitude 443 Population 422 Date 2012 03 04 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • malón — {{#}}{{LM M24618}}{{〓}} {{[}}malón{{]}} ‹ma·lón› {{《}}▍ s.m.{{》}} Ataque indio inesperado y repentino …   Diccionario de uso del español actual con sinónimos y antónimos

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.