Culture

The culture of Chile is one of a relatively homogeneous society where historically its geographical isolation and remoteness has played a key role. Since colonial times the Chilean culture has been a mix of Spanish colonial elements and indigenous (essentially Mapuche) culture.

Traditional Chilean culture is of rural and agrarian origin, where horsemen, the Huasos of Central Chile, are the most emblematic symbol. While Chile has a geographically diverse territory, the lifestyle of the Central Chile has not been possible everywhere and different customs exists towards the north and south of Chile. Additionally, while some regions of Chile have very strong indigenous heritage, such as Araucanía Region,Easter Island and Arica y Parinacota Region, some regions lacks considerable indigenous communities and a few other regions have noteworthy non-Spanish European immigrant heritage. The mainstream Chilean culture that emanates from the historical core of central Chile is of predominant mediterranean climate (as reflected in the food), rural criollo and mestizo origin.

During the period between early agricultural settlements and to the late pre-Hispanic period, northern Chile was a region of Andean culture that was influenced by altiplano traditions spreading to the coastal valleys of the north. While southern regions were areas of Mapuche cultural activities. Through the colonial period following the conquest, and during the early Republican period, the country’s culture was dominated by the Spanish. Other European influences, primarily EnglishFrench, and German began in the 19th century and have continued to this day. German migrants influenced the Bavarian style rural architecture and cuisine in the south of Chile in cities such as ValdiviaFrutillarPuerto VarasOsornoTemucoPuerto OctayLlanquihueFaja MaisanPitrufquénVictoriaPucón and Puerto Montt