Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Argentina, Yamana Bridge Island History



SAM 063 Back near our original starting point we are drawn to the remains of a sheltered area in the ground within a few feet of the beachfront.





Here we are told a little about the daily life of the Yamanas on Bridge Island. Stories we are told may be just a little different than the history books.  One point I find interesting, the women did most of the fishing.



CAN 181 A nearby hole contains what is believe to be artifacts from everyday life here.







CAN 095 Male Yamana


Despite the cold weather in the area, the Yamanas lived without practically any clothing. With an increased lung capacity, their higher than normal body temperature helped them to cope with the cold along with smearing their skin with animal oils.

Due to high level of carbon dioxide while heating there homes and the fact that Visine had not yet been invented, Yamanas often had permanent red eyes.


CAN 096 Yamana Bark Canoe






When European missionaries arrived in the area they felt sorry for these poor, naked and red-eye people. They just had to civilize them and the Yamana’s life would be so much better! 

Treating fevers that did not exist, providing medications and clothing where not necessary. Unfortunately, many of the original inhabitants of Ushuaia, the Yamanas died in the process of being civilized.

The missionaries found about 4,000 of them when they arrived, today only one pure female Yamana remains in the area.



CAN 184 Besides a history lesson we are also given a brief demonstration of how local jewelry was made by the Yamanas.





CAN 185 Yamana Jewelry


An enriching experience draws to a close as we cast off from Bridge Island.



SAM 062 Sailing for Ushuaia we are offered coffee, tea, hot chocolate or beer inside the warm cabin of the “Yate Tango”.





I and a few others decide to add a sampling or two of a local beer to our fantastic tour experience. Salud!






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