Monday, March 1, 2010

"The Selk'nam, also known as the Ona, lived in the Patagonian region of southern Chile and Argentina including the Tierra del Fuego islands. They were one of the last aboriginal groups in South America to be reached by Westerners, in the late 19th century, when the Chilean and Argentine governments began efforts to explore and integrate Tierra del Fuego (literally, the "land of fire" based on early European explorers observing Selk'nam smoke from their bonfires).

While the Selk'nam are closely associated with habitation of the northeastern area of Tierra del Fuego, their early origins are likely from the mainland, from whence they departed by canoe across the Strait of Magellan. Their habitation in the early Holocene likely ranged as far as the Cerro Benitez area of the Cerro Toro mountain range.

The Selk'nam were nomadic people and survived by hunting. They dressed sparingly, a remarkable feat given the cold climate of Patagonia.

They shared Tierra del Fuego with the Haush (or Manek'enk), another nomadic culture that lived in the south-eastern part of the island."


Thank you Jamie!

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