An environment of impressive wild beauty was the cradle for the first human dwellers (paleo native groups of migrating hunters and collectors) that later turned into the Mapuche-Hulliche ethnic group.
In the late XVIth century, Fort Arquilhue was settled in the surroundings of Funtronhue, nowadays called Futrono, so-called by the natives due to the “large smoke clouds” generated by the fires lit by the colonists to build the croplands. This fort was created with the purpose of sheltering the Spaniards present in the region.
In 1599, the fort was destroyed by a Hulliche riot regarding the abuses of the encomienda system. This riot started in Valdivia and spread towards the inland valleys and lakes.
In the mid XVIIIth and XIXth centuries, after the Pacification War, the Spanish and German colonists settled down again. They continued cutting down the native forest and turned the natural environment into prairies and croplands. Thus, a very plentiful natural resource began to be exploited: wood.
Little by little, the town began to grow as an agricultural and forestry spot which attracted migratory currents from neighboring villages, especially when the national railway system began to acquire sleepers made of oak and, therefore, the local sawmills required manpower to cover all the demands. In those days, when the steamboats would cross the waters of Lake Ranco in the booming model of the National Developmentalist State, fostered by Pedro Aguirre Cerda, the village was declared Comuna in July 12, 1941, by decree number 6973, and its territorial area was laid out.
At present, Futrono occupies a total surface of 2,120 square kilometers, out of which almost 60% corresponds to natural forests. All this, in addition to its rivers and relief, grants it unique features for the practice of tourism.
* Documento sobre Patrimonio Cultural de la Comuna de Futrono – provided by the Centro de Negocios de la Comuna.
* Futrono Magazine– An entire Southern area to be discovered.
Epew: The Old Lady Who Owned the Mountain
From “Lets Learn About Our Root Through the Mapuche Tales”, anthology made by the Tren Tren Mapu Native Association, San José de la Mariquina, 2001, Fondart Regional.
Once upon a time, a man who was searching for his animals in the mountain got lost. He could not find his animals either. As he was trying to find his way back home, it got dark. Therefore, he resolved to take shelter in the wood. As he was making himself comfortable in order to rest and sleep, he suddenly saw a fire in the middle of the forest. An old lady was dancing around it. He went towards her. She was Kvpvka and, as he approached her, he discovered that there was a house made with materials picked up from the wood. There were potatoes, peas, corn. He greeted the old lady quite respectfully and then they became friends and got married.
As the old lady learnt that the man was a poor widower with four children, she said to him: “if you have children, bring them here because they will have everything they need”. Thus, the man took his children there. They ate and stayed at Kvpvka’s house. One night, as they were staying in her house, one of the man’s children looked at the old lady’s feet and, as he laughed, he said: “look, the old lady has only two toes”. As she heard this, the old lady got very angry, destroyed her house and everything disappeared: the fire, the richness and Kvpvka.
In desperation, the man told his son: “Good heavens! Why did you make fun of the papay (old lady)? What are we going to do now?” They returned home and he gave advice to all his children but eventually, he continued living with Kvpvka.