Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Native peoples > Tehuelche


Aonikaish, the language of the Tehuelche people, is now extinct. Like the language of the Selk’nam, this language was part of the Tshon language family. It was agglutinative and substantive, with each word designating an object of nature or an abstract idea of a higher order. Examples include chetjen (newborn guanaco); shotel (guanaco eye); and Otil nau (good spirit). Each Tehuelche subgroup had its own dialect.