Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Native peoples > Chango

Settlement patterns

As semi-nomadic fishermen, the Changos could spend many days on their rafts, seeking out seasonal marine resources and occupying an extensive coastal territory.
It is thought that they used two complementary strategies for their movements: some groups of men or nuclear families may have migrated along the coast, establishing temporary camps at fishing sites and coves, while other groups of families probably lived together in semi-permanent camps or more stable villages wherever sufficient resources were available to support them—mainly places where fresh water was available by the sea, such as river estuaries. Examples of this type of settlement can be found at Paposo, Cobija and Mejillones.
These coves were never left completely uninhabited. Even the most nomadic groups would often return to places they had occupied previously.
Their dwellings were made by interring cactus trunks or whale bones in the ground and covering them with a roof made of sea lion skins or seaweed. The family slept inside, on beds of dried seaweed and more skins. Food was stored in leather bags that were hung from the dwelling’s beams. Nets would also be hung up while not in use.