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"Today, native Fuegians number in the single digits."

Does this have a reference?Tudwell 20:38, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

No, I think a more accurate thing to say would be that full-blooded Fuegians number in the single digits, if any even exist at all today. But there are many people who have some native Fuegian ancestry. Edrigu 21:20, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

I read in World Book encylcopedia there are none left, without reference I plan to delete the single digit number which seems hard to believe.

Many? 100? Dentren | Talk 16:03, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Move page[edit]

Both Yagán/Fuegians and Yaghan/Yaghan_language refer to the same etnic group Yaghans, but the later refers to it's languange only, I think this articles must be either merged or renamed to Yaghan and Yaghan Language respectively and, the corresponding redirect from Yaghan changed to Fuegians instead of the language, comments appreciated. Kilroytech 22:45, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree on it is confusing. Actually i think the term fuegians introduced by the HMS Beagle crew is to old fashoned and sould be avoided. Other reasons to not use this term are:
  • 1) It is an exonym
  • 2) Both Yagans and Selknam lived in Tierra del Fuego, then it is confusing that only one of these groups is called fuegians.
Then i propose to move this page to Yaghan and move Yaghan to Yaghan language. Agree? Disagree? Dentren | Talk 17:18, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Soucnd good. I agree.--Mariano(t/c) 18:30, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Exonyms should be surely avoided if there is an appropriate name instead. I think the most important thing would be to check if term "Fuegian" can be replaced by a better term or not.
I have to read some of the literature yet, but as I remember now, "Fuegian" is a collective name for relative (linguistically, culturally and in lifestyle) groups. Yahgan is one of them. Maybe Selknam, Yahgan and Kawesqar are these groups (see [1]), I have to check yet.
Similar debates arise about "Eskimo" (being an exonym, allegedly even offensive), but the proposed endonyms (mostly "Inuit") do not comprise the entirety of these relative (liguistically , culturally and in lifestyle) groups. The debates can be seen in [1]. I summarized here my pro vote for continuing to use the exonym if endonyms are more specific.
Unfortunatelly, (if the Fuegians-related articles are right), many of these a languages went extinct, which may make my objection obsolete. But I think, even if they went extinct, they still inhabit a "conceptual" niche, a "Platonic realm". Again, an analogy with the Esimo debate: Sirenik language went extinct in 1997. But maybe it was a standalone third branch of Eskimo family (it is not settled yet, see online [2] [3] [4], or for short the image of the genealogical tree), thus it is still mentioned sometimes.
Physis 11:23, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Updated MOVE article proposal[edit]

I have looked at some other related articles and here is my complete proposal:

  • The article Yaghan should be about the Yaghan people and have a link in the top to the Yaghan language. The Fuegians article should be moved here because that article as it is now is about the Yaghan people.
  • The Fuegians article (that is empty after the move) should be turn into a disambiguation with some explaniation about the usage of term and have the following links to: Selknam, Kaweshakar, Yaghan and their respective languages.
  • The Yagan article that is about a kind of aboriginal warriors in Australia should have links in the top to Yaghan language and Yaghan (the people).
  • The Yámana article that actually redircts to Yaghan language should redirect instead to the Yaghan article that is about the people.
  • The Yamana article that is a disambiguation should include a link to Yaghan (the people).

Dentren | Talk 16:43, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Thank You for the huge job, I have not even known about these pages. Of course I agree with all of them except with one modification:
The lead text, Fuegians#Material culture, Language, Research should remain on the Fuegians page. Acculturation and Famous Fuegians should be checked which tribe is concerned -- if this questions remains unsettled, then also they should remain on the Fuegians page. The Spiritual culture section contained Selknam-specific information, thus I have cut it out and pasted it into the Selknam page. From the External links, I have cut About the Ona Indian Culture in Tierra Del Fuego and pasted it into Selknam page, too.
It seems to me like a factorisation problem (which can manifest itself in may guises):
school algebra
formal languages
grammar describes the same language as
I mean that
  • we identify the common things
  • and lift them out
  • while the "specific things" remain "scattered"
All (native) Fuegians were hunter-gatherer. Pater Martin Gusinde visited several Fuegian cultures, and also Anne Chapman visited more than one (Selknam ans Yahgan). The lead text contains collective and introductory informations. Neither of them is Yahgan-specific, these are collective, general informations. That's why such things should be lifted out, i.e. remain in Fuegians article.
Practically, all this means that it is easier not to move Fuegians page, only adding the links You proposed (e.g. under a headline "Cultures").
One thing remains unsettled: the proposed Yaghan people article, which remains empty (because most of the Fuegians page should not be pasted into it). Unfortunatelly, Yaghan people should remain a redlink or a stub (in latter case, I propose something like : /Yaghan people).
Have much success and happyness in mathematics! (also I want to be in future mathematician, but I am not yet)
Physis 20:44, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
If you mean that the Fuegians article should not be turn into a disambiguation I can agree, but everything that is abouth the Yaghan people should be move to the Yaghan article, so that the Fuegian article rermains as an article (with links in the top to Yaghan and Selknam) that only talks about common things of Selknams, Kaweshkar and Yaghans and about the usage of the term. Did I understand you? Dentren | Talk 18:04, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Dear Dentren,
Thank You for the reply.
Yes, I meant it this way.
I think, such common things can arise because of many reasons:
  • some similarity of the concerned cultures (e.g. they were all hunter gatherer);
  • some practical reasons: if an anthropologist researched one tribe, then the same anthropologist researched also some other tribes, too. Pater Martin Gusinde researched at least 3, Anne Chapman 2 tribes;
  • sometimes we do not know yet, which tribe is involved. E.g. we do not know, members of which tribe were taken by Beagle etc.
The article Fuegians seems for me a natural place for such things.
Of course I agree that Yahgan-specific can be moved to a distinct Yahgan article, allowing only few introductory context about Yahgans on the Fuegians article.
As I read the Fuegians article, there is no continuous text about Yahgans. The few Yahgan-specific words are only of introductory and contextual nature.
Have a nice week-end,
Physis 19:55, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
More than different tribes they are different peoples. But both Yaghans and Kaweskar spoke language isolates, while Selknam spoke a Chon language like the Tehuelches once did on the Patagonian mainland. The Selknam hunde much in the way the Tehuelches did and easted food from the sea a secondary food source. While Yagans and Kaweshkar traveled with canoes around the islands, the Selknam instead live in the interior of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego.
What do this 3 peoples have in common?
  • They live in Tierra del Fuego archipelago
  • Had darky skin
  • where nomads-hutergatheres
To compare: actually the "European peoples" have more things in common:
  • They live in Europe
  • Most europeans are white
  • Most europeans speaks indo-european languages
  • Most europeans are Chiristians or have christean culture
  • Most europeans use alphabets the evolved from the greek alphabet.
"As I read the Fuegians article, there is no continuous text about Yahgans. The few Yahgan-specific words are only of introductory and contextual nature". The Acculturization part speaks exclusively about Yaghans - that the Beagle crew called "Fuegians". Dentren | Talk 17:50, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the greatest common divisor idea doesn't fit here. Fuegians could be nothing but a disambiguation page. --Mariano(t/c) 18:01, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
The above opinions are entirely true: both linguistical and cultural classifications "crosscut" the borders of Tierra del Fuego — "crosscut" in both senses:
the peoples living there show huge diversities
there are related cultures outside Tierra del Fuego (Tehuelche for Selknam, both linguistically and in material culture; Chono for Yaghan in material culture)
Thus I mistook in multiple ways. Sorry for that.
I tried to adjust my previous contributions in the article accordingly, and provided some references.
But maybe, the article Fuegians can be more than a disambiguition page. "Fuegian" is an existing expression, at least in German (and Hungarian) literature, and its clarification may deserve a small article in the case if the English word is used in a similar way. I tried to provide some English-language external links (besides the many German ones).
It is exactly the diversity which should be explained by the article (together with modern history and research, which provides some common points)
Physis 21:45, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Maybe some practical reasons justifiy a few description of the usage and history of expression "Fuegians": although this term may be unjustified (linguistically and anthropologicaly), but it is used sometimes: materials are sometimes grouped using under this label in catalogues and bibliographies etc. For example, see the following bibliography, linking many online documents:
Thus the term needs some explanation, a small article, because it may be used, although not for scientific classification, but for simple catalogizing label.
Physis 11:41, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Pater Martin Gusinde mentions some features shared by Yámana and Selk'nam in the field of spiritual life:
  • some identical and similar myths
  • belief that in ancient times women used to rule over men
  • shaman-like figures
I added them, with references, forming a new section Spiritual culture.
Physis 12:28, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Folks- I study the language, posted most of the entries onto the Yaghan language page. Problem is that this spelling with the -gh- is the LEAST common (and inaccurate to boot). The original coinage by Thomas Bridges was Yahgan (ah meant to differentiate tense /a/ from the lax version). Spanish just simplified to Yagan, shifting original stress from the first a to the second as well.


The page have improved a lot and there are more common things than I thought, so I dont think it is worth to move or redirect this article. Good work Physis. But is still good to have introducing sentences about the usage of the term and the group it may refer to, I have the feeling that the Beagle expitions and early english used the term Fuegins to refer to the Yaghan people, do anybody know if they still use fuegins to refer mostly to Yaghans? Dentren | Talk 18:45, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

"Fuegians" were a geographical lumping, and still are- so would include the Haush, Yahgans/Yamana/Yapous, Ona/Selknam, and Kawesqar/Alacaloof (and various spellings of these terms), and any other peoples that now have disappeared without trace (there is no reason to suppose there weren't other groups in the area).


  1. ^ Talk:Eskimo#defaced, Talk:Eskimo#Word origin, Talk:Eskimo#Use and origin of the term, Talk:Eskimo#Eskimo should be a disambiguation page, Talk:Eskimo#Term Eskimo is extremely derogatory, Talk:Eskimo#Inuit/Eskimo, Talk:Eskimo#Eskimo as self-description of Alaskan Eskimos, Talk:Inuit#Merge with Eskimo
  2. ^ Linguist List's description about Nikolai Vakhtin's book: The Old Sirinek Language: Texts, Lexicon, Grammatical Notes. The author's untransliterated (original) name is “Н.Б. Вахтин”.
  3. ^ Representing genealogical relations of (among others) Eskimo-Aleut languages by tree: Alaska Native Languages (found on the site of Alaska Native Language Center)

Yaghan website[edit]

I have a website building up regarding yaghan culture. I've used MediaWiki to let non-techie user to add/review content.

It's temporary URL is, and it's up only between 9AM and 7PM Chilean Time.

Under the contents section in the navigation bar is the site itself. I haven't even changed the look yet, so any additions or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Since this is a non-profit project, I took some content directly from Wikipedia, and put some placeholders for some of the topics that the site must hold.

Any contributions would be greatly appreciated. 20:04, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Reference regarding Walrus myth in the "Spiritual culture" section[edit]

Someone with access to Gusinde or perhaps more recent anthropology - please confirm that there is actually a story regarding walruses in Fuegian mythology. I am highly dubious, considering fossil records indicate that walruses never lived any further south than Northern California. Perhaps Gusinde meant a sea lion?

Thanks, Erielhonan 04:31, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Dear Erielhonan,

Thank You for the feedback. I am sorry for my mistranslation. Gusinde writes “Seelöwe” in the original text, and this German word means really “sea lion”. The mistranslation is entirely my fault, Gusinde used no phrases which could suggest any association for walrus.

I have modified the article accordingly.

Thank You for Your help: I think, mistranslations can remain unnoticed for long time. Once, also I discovered one in the discussion of a Siberian Yupik myth about "sea gull", which eventually turned out to feature orca. The mistranslation may have rooted in the ambiguity of Russian word "касатка".

Physis 13:43, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

How is it pronounced?[edit]

The word "Fuego" has a hard G and not the sound like the J of "John". So is it "Fuejans" or "Fueghians"? --Hrotovice (talk) 21:59, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

I would incline for the later one, "Fueghians" which resembles more the Spanish pronucniation of the word.Dentren | Talk 02:27, 2 July 2010 (UTC)