7 Indigenous Cultures of Argentina You Should Know About

Argentina is not just made up of blonde-haired, blue-eyed people of Italian descent

Photo: Unsplash/@bernardojbp

Photo: Unsplash/@bernardojbp

Argentina is not just made up of blonde-haired, blue-eyed people of Italian descent. Just like every other Latin American country, there are the indigenous peoples of the nation—in fact, 35 officially-recognized peoples. In an effort to shed a light on these American Indian/Native American groups, and celebrate them, we are sharing information about seven Argentinian indigenous peoples.


There are between 100,000 and 500,000 Mapuche in Argentina. In their language, Mapudungun (aka Mapuche), the word mapuche translates to “people of the land” (mapu=land/of the land, che=human/people).

Kolla (Qulla, Colla)

Also known as Qulla and Colla, the Kulla are a subgroup of the Aymara of South America. The word qulla is Quechan for “south.”

Qom (Toba, Toba-Qom, Qom-lik, etc.)

The Qom population in Argentina is said to be somewhere around 130,000. The Toba Qom word for heavens is piguem. They are part of a collective indigenous fight in Argentina to get ancestral land back.

Wichí (Mataco)

The Wichí in Argentina live primarily between the Bermejo and Pilcomayo Rivers. They were victims of the government-caused genocides that occurred between 1850-1890, which killed thousands of Wichí, Mapuche, Pilaga, and Guaraní people.



In addition to Argentina, the Guaraní are also native to Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The Guaraní creation myth is centered around Tupã (Tupâ, Tupavé, Tenondeté), the supreme god who came from the sun.

Diaguita (Diaguita-Calchaqui, Calchaqui, Capayana, Pazioca, Cacán)

The Diaguita Calchaquí of Northern Argentina, are said to number 13, 773. Historically, they were among the most advanced Pre-Columbian cultures in Argentina. Their advanced Bronze Age skills included dyeing and weaving textiles, handpainted ceramics, advanced irrigation systems, etc.

Tapieté (Guarayo, Guasurango)

The Tapieté (a Tupi-Guarani language) in Argentina number only 400 to 700 people. The Tapieté also live in Bolivia and Paraguay.

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American Indian Argentina culture indigenous Native American south america
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