• Suede Santoro
  • 12-19-2020 17:00:49


Tierra Del Fuego, South America an inhospitable area that horns Argentina & Chile has been inhabited for over 11,000 years by isolated Natives due to the frigid climate from the freezing humid current southwest of Antarctica.Inhabited by the Ona(Selk'nam), Yaghan, & Alacaluf.


The S'elknam (Selk'nam - Oná - Onawo) people are currently extinct as a tribe. They spoke a Chonan dialect as they were nomadic group who migrated from the mainland of Tierra Del Fuego through the Estrecho de Magallanes known in English as the Strait of Magellan. Relying on hunting & fishing in the arctic climates, they are believed to be some of the first inhabitants of the area linked to the Manek'enk people also called Haush.

The Yaghan people (Yámana - Tequenica) are an ancient group who inhabited the southern tropic speaking the Yagankuta (Háusi Kúta) dialect. They were known for their adaptation & culture surrounding the cold climate. Using small huts & small quarters for ceremony , the people often were not fully clothed in the climate. It would be normal to see the indigenous women swimming in the waters naked as they were the main group hunting shellfish. Even in some instances being sleep out in the open without shelter.

The Alacaluf people were called the Kawésqar nicknamed "nomads of the sea" , an tribe who is now extinct. They migrated through Chile into inhabiting Wellington Island, Santa Inès Island , Desolation (Desolación) Island and the Brunswick Peninsula. The ancient people of the islands survived off the sea as they were expert canoe makers. The band was strictly a maritime culture who fished and ingrained themselves in sea culture for survival so farm life was never a necessity. As the Europeans invaded the lands of South America they kidnapped Kawésqar people for their exhibits of human zoos that were located in France and Germany.

The Yamana people practiced ceremonies for young men and women "Kina & Chiexaus" to pass oral traditions and educated of moral roles of the society , the Chiexaus to bring everyone together as Kina is for the initiation reserved for young men

Thousands of natives who inhabited the southern part of South America were exterminated & sent to concentration camps. The others had bounties on them with physical evidence cutting off ears or hands then eventually collecting skulls, gathering more for women's remains. The Natives who were left over and then further hunted down were captured and kidnapped all the way to Europe for showcase in Human Zoos.

Christian Missionaries accompanied the Spaniard invaders and forced religion and disease on Natives along with concentration camps & kidnapping. Around 4000 Selk'nam Natives werehere in the 1800s by the 1930s that number dropped to about 100. These are Yahgan Christians.

Now today we have thousands of Natives gone because of the theft of land and search for gold in South America. Remaining descendants of Yahgan & Alacaluf are scattered throughout Cape  Horn in very small numbers. Not many speakers of the indigenous dialects are around as we saw years of genocide and an exterminated civilization of ancient sea culture. The indingnous people today are descendants of the peaceful maritime band of spiritual families who used mastered the land in dangerous weather conditions. Similar to the extreme arctic conditions of Alaska Natives. Tierra Del Fuego translates to "Land of Fire" , labeled by Spaniard invaders who saw the tribe's fire rituals sailing in 1520. The land was inhabited by Natives who were mixtures of Australoid & Siberian.

The color photo is Tierra Del Fuego Natives in 1795.

This picture is the last indigenous Selk'nam Tribal member who died in 1974. After years and years of genocide the tribe is now extinct.

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