Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Native peoples > Yámana

Environment and Location

The Yaghan inhabited the archipelagos at the southern tip of South America, from the Brecknock Peninsula to Cape Horn. They were found on the southern coast of the Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, as well as on the shores of the Beagle Channel and the islands of Hoste, Navarino, Picton and Wollaston. These chains of islands made up their entire territory. The vegetation is dense at these latitudes up to an altitude of about 500m (1600 feet), which made it difficult to move about on land.
Temperatures in the Yaghan’s region ranged from 10ºC to -12ºC (50ºF to 10ºF), and the region was very rich in wildlife. The tribe was divided into five subgroups, which occupied different parts of the territory. The Yaghan also had contact with the Selk’nam tribe between Bahía del Buen Suceso and the eastern end of the Beagle Channel, and with the Kawésqar between the Brecknock Peninsula and the western end of the Beagle Channel.


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