Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Native peoples > Yámana


The Yaghan people painted their bodies, varying the designs to suit the occasion. They used white, red and black pigments, adorning themselves with lines, dots, and occasionally circles. The patterns were a shared code within Yaghan society and had a common aesthetic.
For clothing, they wore a cape made from the skin of a sea lion, fox or otter – the women of the tribe were responsible for making these outfits. They wrapped their feet up to the ankle with pieces of the same skin. While the men went naked apart from this basic attire, the women also wore a small apron that covered the pubis, as well as bracelets, anklets, necklaces and hairbands of beads made from bird bones and seashells.