Calchaquí, Juan (?–d. 1600?)

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Calchaquí, Juan (?–d. 1600?)

Juan Calchaquí (d. ca. 1600), Indian chief. In the middle of the sixteenth century, Juan Calchaquí was the principal chief of the region of Tolombón, in the territory which today bears his name, the Calchaquí Valley. In the latter half of the sixteenth century he led the rebellion that spread across almost all of northwest Argentina and part of the southern high plateau of Bolivia. He gained control over the various indigenous groups in the area of the Calchaquí Valley as well as the Omaguaca of the Quebrada de Humahuaca; the Casabindo, the Apatama, and Chicha of La Puna; and the Jurí of Santiago del Estero.

The founding of the Spanish settlements at Córdoba of Calchaquí, Londres in the Hualfín Valley, and Cañete in Tucumán pushed the Indians to the point of war. In 1561, with Juan Calchaquí in the lead, they attacked these new European centers, causing their evacuation. The prestige of Chief Juan Calchaquí was such that his authority extended across all of the northwest of Argentina as well as the eastern plains and the south of La Puna in Bolivia. His reputation gained an almost sacred air. In 1563 the Audiencia of Charcas reported to the king that "they honor him as if he were a burial mound."

See alsoIndigenous Peoples .


Hernando De Torreblanca, Relación histórica de Calchaquí (1984).

Additional Bibliography

Cerda Rodríguez, Joselín. Chelemín y su época. Córdoba: Alción, 1995.

                          JosÉ Antonio PÉrez GollÁn