Back to Main List
Back to Book List

Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser


The Voyage of the Beagle

Charles DARWIN



Fuegians, natives of Tierra del Fuego, South America

Darwin's account of their life:

"[They eat shellfish, sea eggs, or small fish.] If a seal is killed, or the floating carcass of a putrid whale is discovered, it is a feast; and such miserable food is assisted by a few tasteless berries and fungi. They often suffer from famine...when pressed in winter by hunger, they kill and devour their old women." - Voyage of the Beagle, 1839

Then in the 1870's smallpox killed most of them.

Then in the 1880's ranchers began an extermination campaign approved by the Argentine and Chilean governments, paying a bounty for each killed.

20th century - remaining few relocated to confinement camps, culture repressed.

1974 - last one died.