Friday, 10 April 2015


The Selk'nam people lived in the Patagonian region of Argentina and Chile, and are particularly associated with the archipeligo of Tierra del Fuego. The Selk'nam were nomadic hunters who had a complex series of beliefs, which included at least two major Gods, ancestor worship and an obsession with a host of 'spirits', some representations of which are captured above.   

The Selk'nam were isolated enough to not encounter any European people until the latter part of the 19th century, at which point they were systematically wiped out by disease and murder. Some were even sent to zoos. Where they died.

In 1896, there were 3,000 Selk'nam; by 1919, there were barely 300; in 1945, there were just 25. By 1974, there were none left at all. 

It's worth considering, as I have, just what it is about the Western way of life that makes it so very fucking important that we can travel the world raping, killing and pillaging with absolute impunity. If you have an answer, please do let me know. 

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