The Tehuelche people is a collective name for some native tribes of Patagonia and the southern pampas region in Argentina and Chile. 'Tehuelche' is a Mapudungun word meaning 'Fierce People'. They were also called Patagons by the European explorers. It is possible that the stories of the early European explorers about the Patagones, a race of giants in South America, are based on the Tehuelches, because the Tehuelches are typically tall. According to the 2001 census, there were 4,300 Tehuelche in the provinces of Chubut and Santa Cruz, and a further 1,637 in other parts of Argentina.
Contributions by DagosNavy, Cambalachero, and Marianocecowski.