The Sad History of the Land of Fire
Tierra del Fuego means Land of Fire in English, and is split between Argentina and Chile. It was called the Land of Fire because the tribes that used to live here built large fires to keep themselves warm, which made this beautiful island look as though it was all aglow. Sadly, here in the Chilean part of Tierra del Fuego, I learnt that the native tribes have all died out now. It seems they were part of a vicious extermination campaign, because they would kill and eat the livestock of the settlers in this area. It is known as the Selknam genocide, in which a British Pound was paid as bounty for each murdered indigenous person. A Romanian born Jewish man, named Julius Popper, is believed to be the architect of this tragedy.
I feel sad that I never knew about the history before coming here. Although I realise my blog is not a historical one, I think that this story is important and should be a lesson for us all. I hope you can appreciate why I wanted to re-tell the story on my blog, although I am sorry for the sad content today.
Here are some pictures I took whilst out on the road, in this land of ancients, my first experience of Chile.