Lost Tribes 5

The Lost Tribes of Tierra del Fuego: Selk’nam, Yamana, Kawesqar

The Lost TribesThe Lost Tribes of Tierra del Fuego by Martin Gusinde

The German missionary Martin Gusinde arrived in Tierra del Fuego in 1919. Although his initial mission was to convert the Indians among whom he lived, Gusinde in fact ended up doing the very opposite: he was to become one of the first Westerners to be initiated into the Indians sacred rites. Over the course of five years, he studied the Alakaluf, Yamana, and Selknam peoples, travelling from the canals of western Patagonia to the great island of Tierra del Fuego. Gradually, the missionary became an anthropologist. Lost Tribes 3Gusinde’s isolation on this land at the end of the earth made his approach highly unique. Fascinated by what he saw, he took over a thousand photographs, all produced using a portable darkroom. The portraits he captured constitute a kind of genealogical and social tree. This book presents Gusinde’s photographs and research

Lost TribesFascinated by what he saw, Gusinde took more than one thousand photographs, all produced using a portable darkroom. Gusinde captured some truly extraordinary images that his contemporaries were unable to: feather-clad bodies sporting high headdresses made of bark, wrapped up in guanaco furs, or entirely covered with ritual paint, populating a landscape battered by wind, rain, and snow the heart of a natural world that Darwin had celebrated, not long before, for its wildness. A dazzling visual experience, Gusinde s photographs are a monument to the memory of the Tierra del Fuego people as well as an exceptional anthropological document. ”

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