Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Cultures > Southern > Southern Maritime Hunters or Canoe Hunters

Organización Social

The center of canoe hunter society was probably the extended family, which moved around the southern Chilean sea channels in their canoes. Camps were probably occupied by one or two families at a time, except for special circumstances such as whale beachings, when larger groups would gather. Bio-anthropological evidence indicates that the division of labor was based on gender and age, with only women and children diving for shellfish and men likely taking charge of hunting. Such gender and age distinctions are known from historic times, from the different patterns of body painting that these groups used, particularly during rites of passage.