In this episode of TESTICULAR FORTITUDE on the Manlihood ManCast, We’ll learn about Galvarino – A Mapuche Warrior who lost his hands as punishment from the Spanish Conquistadors. He came back to lead his people in battle with swords tied to this wrists! Testicular Fortitude: A Historical Portrait of MEN WITH BALLS.
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You might remember the movie “Edward Scissorhands” – and that story about a family trying to help a boy with scissors on his fingers feel normal and accepted is quite absurd, it’s clearly fiction, and no earthly good to anyone.
What if I told you that there is a story of a warrior with swords for hands that fought bravely against a conquering force for freedom?
In the 1500’s, the Mapuche Tribes lived in Chile and Argentina. The Spanish Conquistadors were doing what Spanish Conquistadors did, expanding the power of the Spanish Empire, conquering as much land as they could, raping, murdering and stealing the people and the land in South America.
The Mapuche united to fight against spanish governor Carcia Hurtado De Mendoza, and their native weaponry and tactics were no match for the firepower and strength of the Spaniards.
At the of Lagunillas, more than 150 warriors were captured. The invaders decided the best way to send a message to the tribes people that they needed to submit to the rule of Spain was to chop off their right hands and noses of some of these warriors. Several tribal leaders, and a man they called Galvarino were ordered to lose both hands.
Galvarino lost both hands on the chopping block without flinching.
The prisoners of war were supposed to cause the natives to shrink in fear and trembling, keeping any future rebellions at bay. But the spaniards underestimate the Mapuche.
Galvarino presented his wounds before his native general, and his cries for justice fueled an uprising. He was placed in command of a squadron of fighters.
Knives were fashioned to fit Galvarino’s mutilated wrists, and he then essentially became a fighter with knives for hands. Some historians described the appendages as large as lances.
He led his troop of fighters alongside Mapuche general Caupolican through several battles, and at the Battle of Millarapue, he fought against the very spaniard who had previously bested him and ordered his mutilation.
Spanish historian Jerónimo de Vivar wrote in Crónica:
He came commanding as a sergeant and animating his men this way: “Ea, my brothers, see that you all fight very well, you do not want be as I am without hands, so that you will not be able to work nor to eat, if you do not give it to them!” And he raised those arms on high, showing them to cause them to fight with more spirit and saying to them: “Those that you are going to fight with cut them, and also will do to whichever of you they take, and nobody is allowed to flee but to die, because you die defending your mother country.” He moved ahead of the squadron a distance, and said with a loud voice that he would die first and though he no longer had hands, that he would do what he could with his teeth.
Pedro Mariño de Lobera chronicled the words of Galvirno saying,
“My Brothers, why have you stopped attacking these Christians, seeing the manifest damage that from the day which they entered our kingdom until today they have done and are doing? And they still will do to you what you see that they have done and they are doing? And still they will do to you what you see that they have done to me, cut your hands off, if you are not diligent in making the most of wreaking destruction on these so injurious people for us and or our children and women.”
The handless warrior faced off against the second in command of the spanish forces at the battle, and dispatched him without prejudice.
The Mapuche did not succeed in the battle, and 3,000 native fighters lost their lives.
Galvarino was captured, and ordered to be executed. Some said he was thrown to the dogs, others report he was hanged.
Galvarino’s resilience, determination, courage, and resistance against brutal oppressors is why he is featured today as a man with Testicular Fortitude.
Testicular FortitudeDo you have testicular fortitude? Do you want to embrace your life of courage? Join our elite group of powerhouse men who are changing the world. Manlihood.com/brotherhood