Ceferino (sometimes spelt Zefferino or Zeffirino) Namuncurá was born on the 26th August 1886 at Chimpay, on the banks of the Rio Negro. His father, Manuel, last great leader of the Araucane Indian tribe, had surrendered three years earlier to troops from the Argentine Republic. Manuel Namuncurá sent Ceferino, after he had wandered free on the pampas for eleven years, to study in Buenos Aires, so one day he could defend his own people better. The family spirit in the Salesian school brought him to love Don Bosco. The spiritual dimension of life grew in him and he began to yearn to become a Salesian priest to evangelise his people.