3 Jun 2012
Our cultural values consist of all the cultural ethics and traits that our nationality and identity express.
Our cultural heritage, therefore, is comprised of processes (people's ideas and lifestyles) and the products of these processes that translate into a set of immaterial and material objects, mobile and immobile, that possess a special historic, artistic, aesthetic, sculptural, architectural, urban, archaeological, environmental, ecological, linguistic, audio, musical, audiovisual, theatrical, scientific, testimonial, documentary, literary, bibliographic, curatory or anthropological interest, and the manifestations, products and representations of popular culture (buildings, artifacts, art, traditions, environment, etc.)
Within this context we will explore the most representative processes and traits that have shaped our national identity. This week:
Ethnic Groups: the Selk'nam, or Onas
The Selk'nam, better known as Onas, inhabited Tierra del Fuego at the southernmost tip of Chile for more than 110 centuries. Today, this group no longer exists. The last Selk'nam of direct ancestry passed away a few years ago, providing one more reason to maintain the spirit and legacy of this culture.
The Selk'nam took part in rituals and traditions such as the hain, an important youth initiation ceremony including representations of deceased ancestors, who had chosen to transform themselves into one of the elements shaping the earth and universe after death.
The following four routes have been chosen as representative of the characteristics and stories of Selk'nam territory:
● Ruta Selk'nam Hunting and fire territories
● Ruta de las Estancias Sheep herding
● Ruta de Madera Northern Almirantazgo ridge
● Ruta de los Humedales Birds and water
The extreme landscapes of these routes are formed by a geography in which lakes and mountain ranges, glaciers and grasslands, and forests and stars coexist with lengthy twilights and long shadows. The layout of the coastline is equally impressive, and wherever you look the shore is laden with bays, fjords, gulfs, canals, coves and snowfields.
Significant places to visit include:
● Lomas Bay wetland
● Windy grasslands on the northern side of the island
● Lowlands situated between Inútil Bay and San Sebastián Bay
● Archaeological site Tres Arroyos – Monte de los Onas, and the mountain range Carmen Sylva
● The large lakes Lago Blanco and Lago Lynch
● Lenga forests
● Cordón de La Paciencia and Diamante Hill
● Geographic fault consisting of Almirantazgo ridge, Azopardo River and Fagnano Lake
● Yendegaia Bay, to name a few of the area's natural attractions
Región de Magallanes tourism office
Lautaro Navarro 999, corner of Pedro Montt – Punta Arenas
Telephone/ Fax (61) 241 330 – 248 790 – 225 385
Puerto Natales local tourism office
Pedro Montt Nº 19 - Puerto Natales
Telephone: (61) 412125 - Fax : (61) 412125
Other stories that might interest you: