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What is the meaning of Patagonia? Concept, Definition of Patagonia

Definition of Patagonia


1 Meaning of Patagonia

Patagonia is a geographical region located in the southernmost part of America, which includes territories of southern Argentina and Chile. Politically the region is divided into two: the Argentine Patagonia, in the East, and the Chilean Patagonia, to the West. Patagonia covers an area of 1 043 076 km². Although there is no consensus widespread over the exact boundaries or criteria to be defined, according to the most recognized limits 75,78% of the territory belongs to the Argentina and the remaining 24.21% to Chile.
Currently the northern limit of the Patagonia Argentina is generally considered in the line of the rivers Colorado and Canyon, since the Argentine sea from the Atlantic Ocean to the border with Chile. The island of Tierra del Fuego, and sometimes also the Falkland Islands tend to be included as part of Patagonia. Meanwhile, the northern limit of the Chilean Patagonia tends to be located in the seno de Reloncaví, but there are also those who indicate their location would be at 39 ° of South latitude, at the height of Valdivia. South Patagonia limit tends to be set in the Strait of Magellan or be extended to Cape Horn. The Andes mountain range divides the Patagonia between the Eastern and Western sectors.

Etymology of the name «Patagonia»

The name Patagonia was given to the region by Fernando de Magallanes expedition, to the service of the Crown of Spain, in 1520, then take contact with the Tehuelche Indians, who called patagones. Approaching the austral winter, Magellan decided to winter in the port of San Julian, a Bay of the Atlantic Patagonia, located at 49 ° South latitude, which baptized with this name by having arrived there on March 31, san Julian day in the Catholic calendar of Saints. Quickly began to run short of supplies and it was necessary to make a first food rationing, which resulted in a mutiny in three of the five ships. The captains Luis de Mendoza y Gaspar de Quesada were executed, while Juan de Cartagena was abandoned on a desolate coast, the Bay of San Julian, along with a priest who had led the mutiny. Magellan was impressed by the large size of the footprints were found on the beach. The first Spaniards who made contact with the tehuelches verified that they actually were tall and corpulent, according to the testimony of the chronicler of the expedition, Antonio Pigafetta. Subsequently, at the end of the 19th century English George Musters confirmed this fact in his book life among the Patagonians.

Conception of the term Patagonia

The area of the field that encompassed the concept of Patagonia was varying over the centuries, until near the end of the 19th century being the territories of the southern part of South America where the power of the Spanish Empire, and later its successor countries, Argentina and Chile, was limited or compromised by the existence of warlike indigenous ethnic groups organised enough to present stubborn resistance to its submission, especially the Mapuche, but also other towns such as: pampas, ranqueles, huarpes, puelches and tehuelches Northern, part of which suffered a process of araucanization or mapuchizacion.
This difficulty, coupled with the inhospitable climate, also generated obstacles for its exploration, by which the geography of much of the region remained unknown, even some until the 20th century. As the military conquest of the indigenous territories is was consolidated (broadly from North to South), with its further integration into the productive schemes of the new republics, the boundaries of the Patagonian region were mutating, and in particular, what its own inhabitants understood as Patagonia, and a choice between regarded themselves as Patagonia, or not autoincluirse in it.
The Patagonia concept is basically a European vision of the region, therefore it was not shared by the native ethnic groups and their descendants, instead is strongly rooted in the local population with European ancestors and even those who arrived in the southern territories recently.


2. Definition of Patagonia

Patagonia is the name given to an area located in South America and shared by Chile and Argentina. The western part belongs to Chile, while the region this way part of Argentine territory.
While the boundaries of Patagonia are usually in discussion, is in general attributed almost 76% of the region to Argentina, leaving the remaining 24% for Chile. The Chilean Patagonia and argentina Patagonia are separated by the mountain range of the Andes.
The word Patagonia comes from patagones, that is the name that Europeans gave to the Aboriginal people encountered in these lands. This ethnic group is also known as tehuelche.
Due to its location relatively close to the South Pole, geographic, Patagonia has a very cold climate. Snowfalls are usually abundant during the winter, and even lakes and other waterways can be frozen.
At present, Patagonia is one of the most important tourist centers of America. The beauty of its landscapes (mountains, valleys, lakes and rivers), European-style architecture, gastronomy and the possibility of practicing several sports (such as skiing, fishing and mountaineering) are some of the reasons that bring thousands of tourists to visit the region each year.
San Carlos de Bariloche is the most important city of the Patagonia, argentina. Its Civic Center, Cerro Catedral and the Nahuel Huapi Lake are among the main attractions. In Chile, stands the city of Punta Arenas, with over 130,000 inhabitants.


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