Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Native peoples > Kawashkar

Environment and Location

The Kawésqar’s traditional territory extended from the Gulf of Penas roughly to the Cockburn Channel in western Tierra del Fuego, and included the Strait of Magellan as far as the southern end of the Sarmiento Channel. This is the region of Chile’s labyrinthine southern archipelago, where the Andes mountains are almost impenetrable and the islands difficult to land upon, with few beaches and dense woodlands reaching right to the water’s edge. The sea channels, about 480km (300 miles) long, are generally calm and easily navigable. The climate is cold and rainy, with the year divided into just two seasons: winter, with temperatures between 0 and -5°C (23 to 32°F), and summer, with highs of around 10°C (50°F).


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