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On the INHABITANTS of TIERRA DEL FUEGO.

By J. G. GARSON, M.D., F.Z.S., M.A.I., Lecturer on Comparative Anatomy, Charing Cross Hospital; Royal College of Surgeons of England.

[WITH PLATE VI.]

THE archipelago of Tierra del Fuego is situated at the southern extremity of the continent of South America, from which it is separated by the Straits of Magellan, and lies between 64° and 75° S. long. and 53° and 56° S. lat. Its position as regards latitude therefore corresponds to that portion of England lying between Nottingham and Berwick, with this important difference, however, that Tierra del Fuego is in south and England in north latitude. It consists of several islands of very different sizes, the most important being King Charles' South-land, which is by far the largest of the group, and that which is usually referred to when Tierra del Fuego is spoken of, Staten Island, Hoste or Usin, Dawson, Clarence, Ines, and Desolation Islands, this last being the furthest west.

In general contour the coast-line is extremely irregular owing to the numerous bays and inlets of the sea, which run into and break up the land, the various islands being separated from one another by narrow and often tortuous channels and straits. The surface of the land is extremely mountainous and rugged. Trees clothe all the lower slopes of the mountains to the height of 1,500 feet, when they suddenly cease and are followed by a band of peat extending to the snow-line, which is at an altitude of between 3,000 and 4,000 feet in this part of the world. Many mountain ranges are covered with perpetual snow.

I have been unable to ascertain the area of the country, but from the information I have been able to gather, it does not appear to be less than that of England.

The climate, besides being cold, as indicated by the lowness of the snow-line on the mountains, is extremely variable, sudden and violent storms of wind and rain and snow occur frequently, and a fall of snow is not uncommon in the height of summer. Cold, wet, and windy weather seems to have been experienced by every one who has visited Fuegia.

Although Fuegia has been frequently visited by Europeans ever since its discovery by Magellan, far less is known regarding its inhabitants than might have been expected. The most complete account of the ethnology of the archipelago is that given by Captain Fitzroy in the "Voyages of the Adventurer and Beagle." Since that work was published several short notices have ap

Explanation of Plate V.

Fig. 1. A dha, resembling the Naga form. The blade is bevelled at the edge on one side only, and is somewhat concave on the other. A wooden handle bound with plaited cord, over which a binding of bright yellow strips of leaf, producing a lozenge pattern.

Fig. 2. Necklace, of beads of green, blue, and yellow glass; bugles of white shell, and long pointed and facetted beads of cornelian; the ends are formed of sections of a large white shell slightly ornamented with dots.

Fig. 3. Double necklace made entirely of beads of white shell; one necklace consists of graduated cylinders, the other of discs of shell alternating with similar cylinders. At the upper end of the necklace is a circular piece of shell with a border of circles containing dots, and attached to this is a section of a large white shell, pierced for suspension at the two points. This resembles a similar ornament worn by the Nagas on the nape of the neck, and is apparently worn in the same position.

Fig. 4. Necklace resembling Fig. 2. The small beads in this are all of glass, chiefly of an opaque jasper-like red; the bugles and the ornaments at each end are of white shell.

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Fig. 5. Armlet of plaited rattan, mixed with strips of bright yellow leaf; below are two rows of coix seeds, and from the edge springs a double fringe of hair, the upper half being red, and the lower hangs to twice. the length and is black.

Fig. 6. Head band. A broad strip of brass, with slight punched ornament consisting of a scalloped border, and at each end a triangular design with spiral terminations. To this is fastened a section of white shell, similar to that of Fig. 3, and which in this instance would be worn on the back of the head.

The following paper was read by the author:

On the INHABITANTS of TIERRA DEL FUEGO,

By J. G. GARSON, M.D., F.Z.S., M.A.I., Lecturer on Comparative Anatomy, Charing Cross Hospital; Royal College of Surgeons of England.

[WITH PLATE VI.]

THE archipelago of Tierra del Fuego is situated at the southern extremity of the continent of South America, from which it is separated by the Straits of Magellan, and lies between 64° and 75° S. long. and 53° and 56° S. lat. Its position as regards latitude therefore corresponds to that portion of England lying between Nottingham and Berwick, with this important difference, however, that Tierra del Fuego is in south and England in north latitude. It consists of several islands of very different sizes, the most important being King Charles' South-land, which is by far the largest of the group, and that which is usually referred to when Tierra del Fuego is spoken of, Staten Island, Hoste or Usin, Dawson, Clarence, Ines, and Desolation Islands, this last being

the furthest west.

In general contour the coast-line is extremely irregular owing to the numerous bays and inlets of the sea, which run into and another by narrow and often tortuous channels and straits. The of break up the land, the various islands being separated from one surface of the land is extremely mountainous and rugged. Trees clothe all the lower slopes of the mountains to the height of 1,500 feet, when they suddenly cease and are followed by a band of peat extending to the snow-line, which is at an altitude of between 3,000 and 4,000 feet in this part of the world. Many mounta ranges are covered with perpetual snow.

I have been unable to ascertain the area of the count from the information I have been able to gather, it appear to be less than that of England.

The climate, besides being cold, as indicated by th of the snow-line on the mountains, is extremely varial and violent storms of wind and rain and snow occur and a fall of snow is not uncommon in the height Cold, wet, and windy weather seems to have been by every one who has visited Fuegia.

Although Fuegia has been frequently visited by since its discovery by Magellan, far less is known inhabitants than might have been expected. The account of the ethnology of the archipelago is Captain Fitzroy in the "Voyages of the Advent Since that work was published several short

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peared in narratives of various voyagers, and in letters from missionaries sent out by the South American Missionary Society, especially those of the Rev. Thos. Bridges, to whom we are greatly indebted, not only for much valuable information regarding the people, but also for most of the skeletons and skulls the description of which will form the chief subject of this communication. Before beginning the anatomy of the Fuegians I have thought it desirable to give a resumé of the knowledge we possess regarding them and their social customs.

The inhabitants of Fuegia are scattered along the coasts and are usually to be found located at the heads of bays and creaks in sheltered spots; the interior of the country is, as far as we know, uninhabited. The Fuegians never possess fixed places of abode or villages, but wander about in small detachments from place to place, constructing, during their temporary residence at any place, shelters, called wigwams, of the branches of trees. They travel from place to place chiefly in their canoes, which are to them what horses are to the Patagonians. The only domestic animal they possess is the dog.

Captain Fitzroy describes four different tribes inhabiting the Fuegian archipelago; they are-1st, the Yacana-Kunny tribe, now called the Onas, who inhabit the north-eastern, eastern, and south-eastern shores of King Charles's Land as far as Sloggett Bay; 2nd, the Tekeenica tribe, now called the Yahgans, inhabiting the shores of the Beagle Channel and the islands to the south of it; 3rd, the Alikhoolip tribe, now called the Alaculoofs, who occupy the western islands from Stewart Islands to Cape Pillar; 4th, the Pecheray tribe, a name given by Fitzroy to the people dwelling on the shores of the central part of the Straits of Magellan, but of whose existence as a distinct tribe I am unable to find any confirmation in the writings of Mr. Bridges or others. Information on this point is very desirable.

The Onas are a tall stout race of men, of a redish brown colour, resembling the inhabitants of Eastern Patagonia, of whom they are now generally considered to be a branch. They clothe themselves in long loose mantles extending from their shoulders to their ankles, made of the skin of the guanaco, the flesh of which appears to be their principal article of food. Those in the southern part of the island were found by Mr. Bridges "living apart, family by family. In ordinary weather they are content with the shelter of a few guanaco skins to shut off the wind, nothing overhead or to leeward save the foliage of the trees. They also much frequent caves and any shelter afforded by overhanging rocks. Their language is very jerky and gutteral, difficult to pronounce and to determine its spelling." Where the guanaco is scarce, and as a variety in their food where that

animal is more abundant, they live largely on shell-fish, fish, and seals, also " on a considerable variety of strange food, half animal and half vegetable, they find washed up on their coasts." Among the eastern and southern Onas a large mixture of Yahgan women are to be found who are known not only by their language but by being shorter than the Ona women. The weapons used by the Ona tribe are bows and arrows, balls (bolas), slings, lances, and clubs, and their chief employment is hunting.

The Yahgan tribe is the best known to us, through the South American Missionary Society having chiefly directed its energy towards their civilisation, and that with very considerable success. They were considered by Fitzroy and Darwin to be amongst the most degraded of savages, and have been graphically described by Fitzroy as "low of stature, ill-looking, and badly proportioned. Their colour is that of very old mahogany, or rather, between dark copper and bronze. The trunk of the body is large in proportion to their cramped and rather crooked limbs. Their rough, coarse, and extremely dirty black hair half hides, yet heightens, a villainous expression of the worst description of savage features. They suffer little hair to grow excepting on their heads. Even their eyebrows are almost eradicated, two mussel shells serving for pincers. . . . Sometimes these satires upon mankind wear a part of the skin of a guanaco or a sealskin upon their backs, and perhaps the skin of a penquin or a bit of hide hangs in front; but often there is nothing to hide their nakedness or to preserve warmth excepting a scrap of hide, which is tied to the side or back of the body by a string round the waist. Even this is only for a pocket, in which they inay carry stones for their slings and hide what they pick up and pilfer. Women wear rather more clothing than the men.

Neither men nor women have any substitute for shoes." No ornaments are worn in the nose, ears, or lips, nor do they tattoo themselves; but both sexes are fond of necklaces and bracelets, which are usually made of shells or pieces of birds' bones. They rub themselves over with grease or oil, and paint their faces and bodies of various colours with ochre, clay, or charcoal. The weapons of this tribe are small lances headed with wood or bone, bows and arrows headed with stones, clubs, and slings. Their wigwams are of a conical form, with two openings or entrances, exactly opposite each other, and made of a number of long poles or young trees, placed touching one another in a circle, with the small ends meeting in the centre; sometimes a few branches of grass or pieces of bark are laid against the side exposed to the wind. In the centre is the hearth, on which 1 "South American Missionary Magazine," October, 1812, p. 125. 26 Voyage of the Adventurer and Beagle," vol. ii, p. 137.

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