Caupolican 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.
Caupolican as an Ulmen of Pilmayquen won the position of Toqui by demonstrating his superior strength by holding up a tree trunk for three days and three nights . In addition to proving his physical power, he also had to improvise a poetical speech to inspire the people to valor and unity.
His death came in 1558, at the hands of colonizing Spaniards as their prisoner. He was impaled by making him sit on a stake while his wife was forced to watch. After his death he was replaced by his son Caupolican the younger.
Cronica y relacion copiosa y verdadera de los reinos de Chile (Chronicle and abundant and true relation of the kingdoms of Chile)
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