Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CUENECURA (kway-nay-coo'-rah), Araucanian soldier, born in the province of Catiray, Chili, in 1578; died in October 1609. Being hereditary cacique of Catiray, and officer of the Araucanian army under Cuillamachu, he accompanied this chieftain in all his battles against the Spaniards, and finally succeeded him in his command early in 1604. In 1605 he defeated the Spanish troops under the German commander, Lisperger, near Baroa, directed three fierce attacks on that City, and took it, Lisperger having been killed during its defense. In 1607 Cuenecura routed 3,000 Spaniards newly sent from Peru and marching in two columns, headed by Generals Saravia and Pineda, and every man of that army was either killed or made a prisoner by the Indians. The captain-general of Chili went with 2,000 men to attack him in 1609, but after a well-fought battle retreated. Cuenecura was wounded then, but directed another battle before he recovered, and, seeing that his condition prevented him from continuing the fight, being exhausted; he took his own life on the battlefield. He adopted the use of artillery and other firearms taken from the Spaniards, and his Indians became very dexterous in handling their new weapons.
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