The QUERANDí were one of the
Het peoples , indigenous South
Americans who lived in the
Pampas area of
This is today the present Argentine provinces of La Pampa , most of
the province of
Physically, the Querandí Indians had a well-proportioned body. They were tall and extremely warlike. They wore leather clothes, similar to a fur blanket; women would also wear a skirt that covered their bodies down to their knees. With a semi sedentary lifestyle , they grouped their leather tents by their water supply in the winter, and they would go on their raids inland in the summer.
At the time of the arrival of the Europeans they stood out as great runners hunting, or rather, they captured by running down, Pampan deer, ñandúes , and even guanacos , although to facilitate their activity they had invented two devices (one that would become a classic in Argentina): the bolas , and the more primitive one consisting of a stone tied to a cord made with leather or sinews called by the Spaniards a stone-lost boleadora. They would also hunt tinamous , deer, quail and ñandúes with the help of their bows and arrows and their bolas . They also made pottery .
They believed in a great god whom they called Soychu, who had a contender or evil spirit: Gualichu.
According to the 2010 census there are 3,658 self-identified Querandí in Argentina.
RELATIONS WITH THE EUROPEANS
In 1516, the Spaniard Juan Díaz de Solís landed on the shores of the River Plate (Río de la Plata), but the natives resisted his attempt of conquest and the expedition failed.
The Querandi tribe first met Europeans when
Pedro de Mendoza 's
expedition arrived in the area of
The Querandí Indians, who lived in the surrounding area, were friendly at the beginning and obtained Spanish goods in exchange for food resulting from hunting and fishing; but, suddenly, they chose to interrupt contact and food became scarce among the Spaniards.
With the intention of subjugating the Querandí, Pedro de Mendoza organized a military expedition led by his brother, Diego de Mendoza , which was defeated on the banks of the Luján River on June 15, 1536, in a battle between the Spaniards and the Querandí. The Spanish cavalry was neutralized by the Querandí bolas and the remainder of the force managed to avoid being wiped out and retreated to Buenos Aires in the night. According to Ulrich Schmidl , a soldier in the battle, about forty Spaniards and a thousand Indians were killed in the fight.
From that moment,