The history of the breed is surrounded by controversy and several differing theories. One theory is that chickens were introduced to South America by seafaring Polynesians during pre-Columbian times, with the Araucana having been already established as a breed in the Chile region before the arrival of Europeans. Another theory is that chickens were not present in the Americas until after the first European arrival. Archaeological evidence for the presence or absence of pre-Columbian chickens is highly debated, however at the moment it appears most archaeologists agree there is no evidence of pre-Columbian chicken presence in the Americas. A problem some people have with the European introduction theory is that chickens were found in villages throughout South America as European exploration progressed through the continent. They feel the spread of chickens was too rapid for the European introduction theory.
The American breed standard calls for rumplessness and ear tufts, while some European standards calls for tails, muff/beards and small crests.