Gusinde, Martin, 1886-1969. The Fireland Indians: Vol. 1. The Selk'nam, on the life and thought of a hunting people of the Great Island of Tierra del Fuego

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Untitled Section: ...

First Part Homeland And History Of The Selk[unknown] Nam

A. The Homeland

A. The Geographical Characteristics

1. Location And Form

2. Picture Of The Landscape

3. Climatic Conditions

B. The Plant World

C. The Animal World

B. The History Of Selk'nam Research

A. Evaluation Of Earlier Reports

B. The Reports From Earlier Times

C. The Research Of The Last Fifty Years

D. My Own Four Journeys

1. My First Journey

2. My Second Journey

3. My Third Journey

4. My Fourth And Last Journey

C. The Selk'nam Once And Now

A. The Tribal Name

B. The Tribal Groups

1. The North Group

2. The South Group

3. The East Group

C. Their Origin

1. Historical Considerations

2. Mythological Indications

3. The Geographical Possibilities

D. The Relationship To The Neighboring Tribes

1. Selk'nam And Yamana

2. Selk'nam And Halakwulup

E. The People's Statistics

1. Estimates From Earlier Times

2. The Census Of The Most Recent Times

3. The Ancient Population-strength

F. Under The Destructive Influence Of The Whites

1. The Selk'nam In The Judgment Of Older Travelers

2. In The Judgment Of Visitors Of More Recent Times

[unknown]. The Indians Help The Shipwrecked

[unknown]. Testimony Of Reliable Judges

[unknown]. Attitude Of Greedy Europeans

3. The Struggle For Their Land

[unknown]. The Gold Seekers

[unknown]. The Farmers

[unknown]. The Indian Hunters

4. Destruction Of The Indian Folkdom

5. Oppression Under The Cloak Of Science

6. The Whites In The Judgment Of The Selk'nam

[unknown]. Their Names For Europeans

[unknown]. Their Most Profound Contempt For The Whites

7. The Present Situation Of The Selk'nam

[unknown]. Reservations Were Planned

[unknown]. The Indians Were Wronged On Principal

[unknown]. Europeandom Has Brutalized The Indians

G. The Work Of The Missionaries

1. The Protestant Mission Activity

2. The Catholic Mission Activity

H. The Fate Of A People

Second Part The Economic Life

A. The Dwelling

1. There Are No Permanent Settlements

2. The Hut

3. The Windscreen

4. The Stay In The Dwelling

5. The Fixed Camp

6. The Fire

B. The Clothing

1. Purpose Of The Clothing

2. The Preparation Of The Skins

3. The Man's Pieces Of Clothing

4. The Woman's Pieces Of Clothing

5. The Children's Clothing

C. Cleanliness And Body Ornamentation

1. Body Care

2. Cleanliness In The Hut

3. Body Painting

4. Articles Of Ornamentation

D. Weapons, Tools, And Implements

1. The Bow

2. The Arrow

3. The Quiver.

4. Shooting The Bow

5. The Sling

6. The Fish Spear

7. The Sea-lion Spear Of The Haus

8. The Large Harpoon Of The Haus

9. The Knife

10. The Ripping Chisel

11. The Scraper

12. The Awl

13. Objects Made Out Of Leather

14. The Basket

15. The Technical Skills

16. The Finds Of Ancient Stone Tools

E. The Acquisition Of Food

1. The Hunting Of Guanacos

2. How Cururos Are Hunted And Caught

3. The Hunting Of Sea Lions And Foxes

4. The Hunting Of Birds

5. The Fishing And Angling Of The Men

6. The Food Quest Of The Woman

F. The Diet

1. Various Kinds Of Restrictions

2. How They Prepare Their Food

3. How They Store Foodstuffs

4. They Are Particular

G. The Restless Nomadic Life

1. Why Do They Constantly Rove About?

2. On The Migrations

3. The Selk'nam In Perfect Adaptation To His Homeland

Third Part Social Order And Tribal Custom

A. Institution Of Marriage

A. The Preparation For And Conclusion Of Marriage

1. The Marriageable Age

2. The Courtship

3. The Beloved Person In Ideal Transfiguration

4. Assistance Of The Relatives

5. Kinship Exogamy

6. Freedom In The Choice Of A Mate

7. The Actual Proposal Of Marriage

8. The Wedding Feast

9. Behavior Toward The Parents-in-law

B) Married Life

1. Monogamy

2. Polygamy

3. Marriage Impediments And Divorce

4. Levirate Marriage

5. Division Of Labor

[unknown]. The Work Of The Man

[unknown]. The Activities Of The Woman

[unknown]. The Co-operation Of The Two Spouses

6. Unwedded State

7. Relations Between The Two Spouses

B. Parents And Child

A. The Infant And Its Care

1. The Desire For Children

2. Origin Of The Child

3. The Birth

4. The Woman Giving Birth For The First Time

5. The Behavior Of The Husband

6. Food Rules For Both Parents

7. Treatment Of The Newborn Child

8. Nourishment Of The Baby

9. Name-giving

10. The First Talking

11. Play And Toys

12. Appreciation Of The Child

13. Infanticide

14. Child Statistics

B. The Older Child And Its Education

1. Separation Of The Sexes

2. The Relationship Between Siblings

3. The Play Of The Girls

4. How The Boys Play

5. Educational Treatment Of The Young

[unknown]. Guiding Thought Of The Education

[unknown]. The Teachers

[unknown]. Content Of The Teaching

[unknown]. Educational Measures

[unknown]. Undutiful Children

[unknown] The General Result

6. The Girls During The First Menses

[unknown]. Treatment Of The Girls

[unknown]. The Women During Their Menses

[unknown]. Origin Of The Menses

7. Relations Between Parents And Children

C. Kinship And Tribal Society

A. Kinship

1. The Members Of The Individual Family

2. The Consanguineous Relatives

3. Kinship Terms

B. The Tribal Society

1. The Local Groups

2. The Head Of A Local Group

D. The Property Relations

A. The Different Goods Held As Property

1. Common Ownership

[unknown]. The Property Concept

[unknown]. Sections Of The Country As Property Of The Kin Groups

[unknown]. Forms Of Ownership Of A Special Type

2. Private Property

[unknown]. Individual Ownership

[unknown]. The Family Property

B. Title By Right Of Ownership

1. Decisive Assignment Of The Great Island

2. Simple Seizure

3. Personal Manufacture And Procurement

4. Barter

5. Gifts

6. Loans And Inheritance

7. Violations Against Property Rights

E. War, Blood Revenge, And Single Combat

A. Causes And Frequency Of The Attacks

1. The Frequency

2. The Particular Causes

B. Preparation For The Fighting

C. The Manner Of Fighting

D. The Spoils

E. Blood Revenge

F. Single Combat

1. The Wrestling Of The Men

2. The Duel With Arrows

3. The Word-fighting Of The Women

F. Social And General Obligations

A. Law And Custom

B. Social Virtues

1. Indian Forms Of Social Intercourse

2. In Mutual Intercourse

3. Unselfishness And Readiness To Help

C. Concern For The General Welfare

1. The General Order

2. Social Solicitude

Fourth Part The Intellectual World Of The Selk'nam

A. Religion And Morality, The Beyond And Mourning

A. The Religious Ideas And Activities

1. Evaluation Of The Reports

[unknown]. Older Information

[unknown]. Reports Of The Missionaries

[unknown]. My Own Observations

2. Personality And Characteristics Of The Supreme Being

[unknown]. His Personal Individuality

[unknown]. Manner Of Existence And Characteristics

[unknown]. His Relationship To All Creation

3. The Worship Offered To The Supreme Being

[unknown]. Religious Worship And Cult Practices

[unknown]. The Present-day Shallowness Of The Old Religion

4. Originality Of The Religion

[unknown]. Credibility Of The Informants

[unknown]. Negative Demonstration

[unknown] . Internal Credibility

B. The Moral Conditions

1. Reality Of Moral Consciousness

[unknown] . Capability For Moral Judgments

[unknown] . The Conscience

[unknown] . Inner Obligation

[unknown] . Influencing The Youth

2. The Author Of The Moral Order

[unknown]. Transmission Of The Moral Law

[unknown]. The Authorship

3. Reward And Punishment

[unknown]. No Retribution In The Beyond

[unknown]. The Voice Of Conscience

[unknown]. Atonement For Lapses

[unknown] . No Special Retribution In This Life

4. Content Of Selk'nam Ethics

[unknown] . Religious Obligations

[unknown] . Obligations Of The Individual Person

[unknown] . Obligations Of The Two Spouses

[unknown]. Obligations Of The Parents And Children

[unknown]. General Regulations

5. Originality And Present Decline Of Morality

C. Soul And The Beyond

1. The Human Soul

[unknown]. Concept Of The Human Soul

[unknown]. Essence And Characteristics

[unknown]. Origin And Further Life

2. The Beyond

[unknown]. The Idea Of The Beyond

[unknown]. One's Lot In The Beyond

D. Death, Burial, And Mourning

1. Death

[unknown]. Behavior Of The Dying

[unknown]. Behavior Of The Bystanders

[unknown]. The Author Of Death

2. The Burial

[unknown]. Preparation Of The Corpse

[unknown]. Interment

[unknown]. Possessions Of The Deceased

3. Mourning Demonstrations

[unknown]. Mourning In The Presence Of The Corpse

[unknown]. Behavior Of The Individual Person

[unknown]. Common Mourning Solemnities

[unknown]. Mourning Motives And Grounds For Comfort

B. Mythology And Cosmogony

A. The Important Personalities

1. Kenos

[unknown]. His Origin

[unknown]. His Work

[unknown]. The Bringer Of Blessings

2.[unknown] Enuke

3. Kwanyip

[unknown]. His Family

[unknown]. His Wives

[unknown]. His Homeland

[unknown]. His Birth

[unknown]. His Deeds

[unknown]. He Leaves This World With His Family

[unknown]. Picture Of His Character

4.[unknown] Askels

[unknown]. His Homeland

[unknown]. The Giant And Man-eater

[unknown]. He Kills Women And Children

[unknown]. His Dogs

[unknown]. How He Dresses

[unknown]. He Holds The Two Sasan Captive

[unknown]. His Firestone

[unknown]. He Is Slain By Kwanyip

5. Sun And Moon

[unknown]. The Older And The Younger Sun-man

[unknown]. Sun And Moon Become Enemies

[unknown]. Mistress Moon Hates Human Beings

[unknown]. The Moon Spots

[unknown]. The Phases Of The Moon

[unknown]. The Lunar Eclipse

[unknown]. Staring At Mistress Moon Is Dangerous

B. Other Myths And Legends

1. Myths That Refer To Local Peculiarities Of The Selk'nam Homeland

[unknown]. The Contest Of The South Against The North

[unknown]. How Taiyin Came To The Help Of The People

[unknown]. How The Woodpecker Kills The Selfish Woman

[unknown]. How The Land Was Divided

[unknown]. The Story Of The Dolphins

2. A Flood Myth

3. Myths That Stress The Great Deeds Of The Ancestors

[unknown]. How Crafty Kä[unknown] Koyuk Was

[unknown]. Kä[unknown] Koyuk And Soikaten Become Enemies

[unknown]. How Oota[unknown] Cix Caught The Foxes

[unknown]. Concerning The First War

[unknown]. The Story Of Mighty Oixäla

[unknown]. Concerning Handsome Alekspoot

[unknown]. How Elkotelen Lived

[unknown]. What All Kokpome[unknown] Invented

[unknown]. A Woman Devours Her Little Brother-in-law

[unknown]. How Kwaiyul Took Revenge

[unknown]. The Revenge Of Kwaiyul

4. Accounts That Have The Work Of The Medicine Men As Their Subject

[unknown]. The Revenge Of Elänkaiyink

[unknown] . How Hä[unknown] Äm[unknown] Es Took Revenge

[unknown]. How Onkolxon Overcame His Opponent

5. Stories That Are Devoted To The Guanaco

[unknown]. The Guanaco-man And His Daughters

[unknown]. Why The Guanaco-man Lives With His Daughters

[unknown]. How[unknown] Akanu[unknown] Oyin Hunted The Guanacos

[unknown]. The Guanaca From The North

[unknown]. How The Guanaco Obtained Its Coloring

[unknown]. Why Xool[unknown] E Did Not Become A Guanaco

[unknown]. The Fox And The Guanaco

[unknown]. What The Fox Advised The Guanaco

6. Animal Myths With Special Fundamental Ideas

[unknown]. The Story Of The Great Albatross

[unknown]. The Story Of Emienpoot

[unknown]. How A Sea Lion Fell In Love With A Girl

[unknown]. Concerning The Sea Lion And His Wife

[unknown]. The Contest Between Louse And Lizard

[unknown]. The Story Of Kokät

[unknown]. Why The Green Finch Stays Hidden

[unknown]. How The Wood Owl Kills Its Sister-in-law

[unknown]. Carrion Vulture And Cormorant In A Wrestling Match

[unknown]. How Finch And Loica Struggled With Each Other

C. A Cosmogony

1. Heaven And Earth

[unknown]. The Beginning Of The World

[unknown]. Shaping Of The World Picture

[unknown]. Atmospheric Phenomena

2. The Ancestors And Their Period

[unknown]. Definition Of The Ancestor Period

[unknown]. Universal Animation Of The Visible World

[unknown]. Kinship Of The Ancestors

[unknown]. Individual Character Of The Ancestors

3. A Primeval Chronology

C. Belief In Spirits And Superstition

A. The Yo[unknown] I

1. Their Nature And Origin

2. Their Behavior Toward Human Beings

3. Three Yo[unknown] I Stories

[unknown]. How A Man Struggles With The Yo[unknown] I

[unknown]. A Man Recognizes His Brother In The Dead Yo[unknown] I

[unknown]. How A Woman Defends Herself Against The Yo[unknown] I

B. Superstition And Dream Interpretation

1. The Animal In Superstition

2. Other Superstitious Practices

3. Interpretation Of Dreams

Untitled Section: ...

D. The Medicine-man System

A. Social Position Of The Medicine Man

1. They Do Not Form A Society

2. In The Service Of The Commonality

3. Privileges At The Kloketen Celebration

4. The Memory Of Famous Medicine-men

5. People's Vengeance On A Disagreeable Medicine-man

B. Personality Of The Medicine Man

1. Participation Of The Two Sexes

[unknown]. The Male Xon

[unknown]. The Female Xon

2. Psychic Gifts Of The Medicine Man

[unknown]. Are The Xon Mentally Sound?

[unknown]. Do They Themselves Believe In Their Ability?

[unknown]. What Leads The Individual Into This Calling?

3. Physical Nature Of The Medicine Man

[unknown]. How Is The Fully Qualified Xon Formed?

[unknown]. How The Transformation Takes Place

C. The Professional Work Of The Medicine Man

1. Explanation Of A Few Terms

[unknown]. The Kwáke

[unknown]. The Wáiyuwen

[unknown]. The Há[unknown] Men

[unknown]. The[unknown] Änem

[unknown]. The Ya[unknown][unknown] T[unknown] ??

[unknown]. The Dreaming

[unknown]. The Singing

2. Procedure For Curing The Sick

[unknown]. Being Sick

[unknown]. Preparations

[unknown]. The Cure

[unknown]. Upon The Return Of The Complaint

3. Harming Another Person

[unknown]. How He Administers The Kwáke

[unknown]. How He Handles The[unknown][unknown] Nem

[unknown]. How He Causes Death

[unknown]. How He Harms Those Present

[unknown]. How He Uses His Strength Of Vision

4. Manner Of Participation In Strife And War

5. Influencing The Weather

6. Attitude Toward The Moon-woman

7. Special Tests Of Strength

8. Payment Of The Medicine Man

D. Vocation And Preparation Of The Ones Called

1. The Call

[unknown]. Extraordinary Call

[unknown]. Unobtrusive Call

2. The Special Preparation

[unknown]. Entering In More Deeply

[unknown]. Individual Tests

E. The Solemn Assembly

1. Occasion And Goal

2. Course Of The Celebration

3. Conclusion By Mutual Gift-giving

4. A Few Supplementary Remarks

F. The Medicine Man In The Selk'nam World-view

1. Origin Of The Medicine-man System

2. Position Of The Medicine Man With Respect To The Supreme Being

3. The Soul Of The Medicine Man

4. Death And Interment Of The Medicine Man

E. The Kloketen Celebration

A. Knowledge Of The Celebration Obtained By Europeans

1. First Discovery Of The Kloketen Celebration

2. The Reports Available Up To Now

3. Direct Participation Of Europeans

4. My Admission To These Secrets

B. Introduction And Preparation

1. Occasion And Duration

[unknown]. The Appropriate Time Of Year

[unknown]. The Various Occasions

[unknown]. The Temporal Dimension

2. Right To Participate

[unknown]. General Legal Regulations

[unknown]. Actual Participation

[unknown]. Questions Of Ownership

[unknown]. Exclusion Of The Women

3. More Remote Preparations

[unknown]. First Arrangements

[unknown] The Candidates

[unknown]. The Leader

[unknown]. Choice Of Location

[unknown]. Opening Day

4. More Immediate Preparations

[unknown]. Breaking Up The Old Camp

[unknown]. The New Fixed-camp

[unknown]. Building The Great Hut

[unknown]. The Active Participants

[unknown]. Mental State Of The Generality

C. Course Of The Unfolding Of The Celebration

1. Opening With Introduction Of The Candidates

[unknown]. The Men Assemble

[unknown]. The Candidates Are Made Ready

[unknown]. The Candidates Are Led Over

[unknown]. Reception In The Great Hut

[unknown]. The First Instructions

[unknown]. The First Night In The Forest

2. The Origin Myth

(a) The Origin Myth Of The Women's Kloketen

[unknown]. The Storyteller And His Manner Of Delivery

[unknown]. Wording Of The Myth

(b) The Origin Myth Of The Men's Kloketen

[unknown]. The Storyteller And His Manner Of Delivery

[unknown]. Wording Of The Myth

(c) The Myth About The Spread Of The Kloketen

[unknown]. How This Myth Is Told

[unknown]. Wording Of The Myth

[unknown]. A Few Supplemental Remarks

(d) Implications Of This Myth

[unknown]. For The Men

[unknown]. For The Candidates

[unknown]. For The Women

[unknown]. For The Children

3. Spirit Appearances And Performances

[unknown]. Nature And Representation Of The Spirits

[unknown]. The Individual Spirits And Performances

4. The Order Of The Day

[unknown]. General Regulations

[unknown]. Order Of The Day For The Men

[unknown]. Order Of The Day For The Candidates

[unknown]. Participation Of The Women

[unknown]. Participation Of The First Kloketen-mother

5. Conclusion Of The Celebration

[unknown]. Reasons For An Ending

[unknown]. The Conclusion Is Made Known

[unknown]. The Departure From The Kloketen Hut

[unknown]. The Further Behavior Of The People

[unknown]. A Few Supplementary Remarks

D. Course Of The Celebration In The Winter Of 1923

E. Culture-historical Evaluation Of The Kloketen Celebration

1. The One-sided Aim Of The Kloketen Celebration Is A Foreign Body In The Cultural Picture Of The Selk'nam

2. Assessed According To Its Educational Parts, The Kloketen Institution Is A True Youth-initiation

3. The Most Important Conclusions

F. Mental Capacity

1. Mental Power And Keenness Of Mind

[unknown]. Intelligence And Reason

[unknown] Memory And Imitative Ability

[unknown]. Development Of The Imagination And The Senses

[unknown]. Adaptation To Europeandom

[unknown]. The Language

2. General Knowledge

[unknown]. Evaluating And Counting

[unknown]. Time Divisions

[unknown]. Astronomy And Weather Lore

[unknown]. Geographical Knowledge

[unknown]. Knowledge Of Plants And Animals

[unknown]. Therapeutics

3. Sense Of Beauty And Art Activity

[unknown]. Artistic Talent

[unknown]. Body Ornamentation

[unknown]. Physical Beauty

4. Amusement And Games

[unknown]. Sociability And Amusement

[unknown]. Games And Sporting Affairs

5. Character Sketch Of The Selk'nam People

6. General Character Of The Selk'nam Culture

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: The Fireland Indians: Vol. 1. The Selk'nam, on the life and thought of a hunting people of the Great Island of Tierra del Fuego

Published By: Mödling bei Wien: Verlag der Internationalen Zeitschrift, 1931. 32, 1176 p., 51 plates: ill., maps [HRAF ms.: 32, 1742 p.]

By line: Martin Gusinde

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 1996. Computer File

Culture: Ona (SH04)


Abstract: This monograph is a detailed description of the entire Ona culture, including a survey of the early European contacts (explorers, missionaries, adventurers, and sheepherders) and a critical review (including lengthly quotes) of previously published materials on the Ona. A short review of the little-known prehistory (much based upon Gusinde's own collecting) is followed by a precise description of the Ona in the early 1920's, based upon Gusinde's four field trips; the material, social and spiritual aspects are fully covered. By co-ordinating the historical accounts, ethnohistorical accounts (through mythology) and his own observations and interview materials, Gusinde analyzes the patterns of continuity and change within the Ona culture. Throughout, Gusinde emphasizes the effects of population decrease on maintenance of the traditional culture. Comparisons between the Haush, northern and southern Selk'nam are made, as well as occasional comparisons with the Yahgan and Alacaluf.

Document Number: 1

Document ID: sh04-001

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English translation from German

Note: Translation of: Die Feuerland Indianer. Band 1. Die Selk'nam; vom Leben und Denken eines Jägervolkes auf der grossen Feuerlandinsel.. The original German text is not included. Includes bibliographical references (p. 1659-1666) Translated for the HRAF files by Frieda Schütze.. Not translated for the Files: list of contributors who made printing of the work possible [pp. xi-xii in original text] and index.

Field Date: 1919-1923

Evaluation: Ethnologist, Missionary-4,5

Analyst: Sarah T. Bridges ; John M. Beierle ; 1973

Coverage Date: not specified

Coverage Place: Tierra del Fuego, South America

LCSH: Ona Indians


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