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The last Ona/Selknam Shaman.

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posted on Jul, 21 2011 @ 05:26 PM
I would just like to share this knowledge about an ancient Native American people that are hardly mentioned today.
Tierra del Fuego lies at the southern tip of South America, in often freezing conditions.
It was called "Fire Land" because the first European explorers like Magellan saw the fires of the indigenous people.
Archeological evidence suggests that the ancestors of these people had inhabited this land for at least 9 000 years.
Due to a genocide by sheep farmers, and imported diseases in the 19th century, groups like the Jaghan, Ona and Alakaluf are now often considered extinct.
Some anthropologists argue that they had special adaptions to the cold, since they hunted and swam naked in this extreme climate.

Here is a fascinating 1970's documentary on what became of some survivors.

I wasn't sure where to place this, since it correlates to a great degree with my interest in Ishi (the last Californian Yahi, but it is also a very different story.

Any additional info would be appreciated, since I think it is very important that such narratives continue being heard.

edit on 21-7-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 21 2011 @ 05:31 PM
This is in Spanish, but has some historic footage and sounds:

posted on Jul, 21 2011 @ 05:41 PM
Tribute to the Jaghans (neighbors of the Ona) - the southernmost people on earth!

posted on Jul, 21 2011 @ 05:44 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

Thanks for posting the video.

It's always a fascinating subject for me when native peoples and their descendants give a personal perspective on how their lives have changed. I agree it should be preserved. It's an important subject for all of us.
edit on 21-7-2011 by SLAYER69 because: Spelling: Note to self, MORE COFFEE

posted on Jul, 21 2011 @ 06:13 PM
It is also important that we remember that we get different sides to every story, when colonialism is currently so often excused and even re-inscribed with tales of cannibalism.
The Yaghan (Yamana) were called "cannibals" due to an initial massacre of sailors.
However, it's also documented that as ships sailed around Cape Horn from competing European powers, they sought to go ashore and kidnap Jaghan men to be trained as translators and guides (just as Columbus had done earlier in the Caribbean).

In fact, one of four Jaghan captured and taken to England was the infamous Jemmy Button, who returned to Cape Horn a year later with Darwin on The Beagle.
To the surprise of the British (but perhaps not to us in retrospect) "Jemmy" went native again almost immediately upon his return.
Few considered that the Jaghan reacted to every European scum-vessel filled with whalers, sailors and barbaric people who molested them.
The Europeans called the very land "wretched", and they couldn't understand how people could love it as their home.
The Jamana/Ona's "rancid smell" was due to the fish oil they smeared on their bodies and hair as a traditional protection against the elements.

edit on 21-7-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 21 2011 @ 07:22 PM
Smithsonian Folkways - Ona/Selknam chants of Tierra del Fuego:
edit on 21-7-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 21 2011 @ 07:49 PM
Now this is interesting: a Jaghan word holds a Guinness Book of Records title for the most succinct word for a concept.

Mamihlapinatapai (sometimes erroneously spelled mamihlapinatapei) is a word from the Yaghan (Yámana) language of Tierra del Fuego, listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the "most succinct word". It describes a look shared by two people with each wishing that the other will initiate something that both desire but which neither one wants to start. This could perhaps be translated more succinctly as "'after you...' eye-contact" (But this blatantly doesn't make anywhere near as much sense). Contrast deadlock and impasse, which are states reached after an interaction, where a reinitiation is not necessarily desired.

edit on 21-7-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 21 2011 @ 08:35 PM
Fascinating Selknam/Ona chant to modern music, with a range of landscape visuals and portraits.
With the photography of "traditional Selknam", as always it is difficult to tell whether the subjects were truly traditional, or dressed-up people from a mission or similar hybrid culture.
Whatever the case, they seemed proud to share what remained of their culture.

posted on Jul, 21 2011 @ 08:49 PM
More passing Selknam photos.
Although I cannot understand the Spanish, I assume these are mainly from some kind of initiation ritual.

edit on 21-7-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 21 2011 @ 10:29 PM
I was nearly moved to tears hearing the Selk'nam language spoken by Lola. It saddened me to think that this language will never again be spoken. The only consolation is that it was at least recorded, but even that is small comfort.

We have lost so much history, so many stories, too many cultures and languages, and innumerable amounts of spiritual knowledge with the passing of the old ways. Evolution and progress is natural, but I feel no happiness in the knowledge that most was lost through violence, tyranny, and forced colonization. Oh how much we have lost!!!

"And now I don't know where we are, although I know we've drifted far." Michael Jackson - Earth Song

posted on Jul, 21 2011 @ 11:28 PM
reply to post by Sahabi

Thanks for that wonderful post.
And the irony is, even as we spoke - a language became extinct somewhere on the planet.
However, we should also remember that change isn't always imposed by force, and people sometimes also change cultures out of choice.
Of course it is not up to myself or anyone to say how much was force and how much choice.
It varies.
All we can say is that the Western culture co-opts in a number of ways.

edit on 21-7-2011 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

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