‘Colocolo’ connects Chile’s top football club and the Pampas cat

A tribal chief who’s name was Colocolo connects a Chilean football club and a wild cat species, the Pampas cat.

Pampas cat
Pampas cat
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‘Colocolo means ‘mountain cat’ in the Mapuche language which is spoken in south-central Chile and west central Argentina.


Tribal leader Colocolo
Tribal leader Colocolo. Photo: Wikipedia

The word Colocolo was given to a prominent Mapuche leader in the Arauco War (1550 – 1662 – 112 years in length). This was a long-running conflict between Spanish colonists and the Mapuche people. It started with resistance by the indigenous people to an attempt of conquest by the Spanish and to force the Mapuches into servitude.


Abate Molina
Abate Molina. Ilustration from Wikipedia.

Juan Ignacio Molina (1740-1829) was born on a farm in Chile. He become a priest and naturist. In 1782 he proposed the name Felis colocola for the country’s small wild cat species, the Pampas cat. The Latin name for this small wild is listed as Oncifelis colocolo today according to Wild Cats Of The World because it appears that it’s taxonomy has been reclassified. At one time this single cat was classified into 3 species and 11 subspecies. Today there is only one species as mentioned: Oncifelis colocolo. The classification of species is an ongoing project.

Football club

Chile’s top football club is called ‘Colo-Colo’. It was founded in 1925. The club’s badge depicts the face of Colocolo, the tribal chief of Mapuche as mentioned. It was a suitable choice of name for a football club.

Pampas Cat

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