The Patagonian territory is a geographical unit with a historical unit in fact. It was legally recognized after enactment of Act 954 of 1878 which created the "Governor of Patagonia", and six years later, on October 16, 1884 was enacted the National Territories (Law 1532), thus resulting in the Patagonian territories named: Neuquén, Río Negro, Chubut, Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego.
Beyond the legal rules that determine its boundaries, Patagonia had a spatial link with common problems. In the first decades of the twentieth century, the new units acquired, little by little, a different personality.
The early inhabitants were the Tehuelches, among whom there are two groups: northern and southern. Who were divided into sub-groups: northern Gününa kena and southern Aonikenk, were the most important. The word "tehuelche" is of Mapuche origin and means "brave people".
They lived by hunting guanaco and ostrich, as well as the hare and general wildlife. The instruments were used to hunt were the bow and arrow. Fully took advantage of the animal, its meat and skin concocted clothing and tents in which they lived. They were nomads, they traveled in groups that did not exceed 100 people, under the leadership of a chief.
The white men introduced cattle and horses, which caused changes in their culture. They began to consume the meat of these animals, learned to ride and handle with skill the horse. Scrolling through the territory became easier and allowed them to move further north. The skin of a horse and ostrich feathers were bartered.
The Mapuches, "people of the earth", from the South of Chile, were called Araucanians by the target. These groups enter our Patagonian territory attracted, in principle, by the fauna of the region and then by cattle and horses, which roamed wild in the territory of southern Argentina. The Mapuche were established in the Neuquen and south of La Pampa. Dominated the tehuelches, who incorporated aspects of "araucana" culture as gardening, weaving and orferería, thus moving from nomadism to sedentary.
Currently the group of tehuelche origin is very small, while the Mapuche are one of the most numerous indigenous groups in the country. They inhabit much of the Patagonian region and develop a variety of tasks, the main as pawns or guardians of fields. The less they own smallholdings of little productive value, and most live in urban centers, unskilled jobs and, in general, with unsatisfied basic needs.
Until the stage of territorial organization, the most important historical events have regional value, ie, occurred in Patagonia. Thus, tehuelches with their idiosyncrasies; Hernando de Magallanes, who discovered in Patagonia in 1520; Simon de Alcazaba and Sotomayor, the first historical ruler who founded the province of Nueva Leon, on March 9, 1535; Father Nicolas Mascardi who along with one group of Catholic missionaries entered patagonia from Chile and and made evangelists trips until 1673; settlers from Spain attempts that sent Juan de la Piedra and Francisco de Viedma, founders of establishments in Carmen de Patagones, in Golfo San José, Puerto Deseado and Puerto San Julián but without real success; and finally the Welsh settlement in 1865. All these milestones occurred in Patagonia.