Books that I should have read before the trip, but that I discovered only later:
- After the First
Death. A Journey through Chile, Time and Mind, by Lake Sagaris, a
journalist who grew up in Canada and now lives in Chile, still writing. The book was
shortlisted for Canada's 1996 Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction and is written from
a neutral point of view. For me, it explained some situations that I observed but did not
then understand: e.g. the apparent ostracizing of a member of a community who had moved
away from his community during the years of dictatorship. In the back of the book there
are time lines, an index and a reference biography that allow you to stick to the facts
when discovering the gut-wrenching recent history of Chile.
- E. Lucas Bridges book "Uttermost Part of the Earth. Indians of Tierra
del Fuego" 1949, reprinted by Dover Publications, Inc (New York, 1988).
The book is now out of print.
Lucas Bridges was a son of Thomas Bridges, a missionary who had the courage to establish a
mission at Ushuaia in 1871, at a time where the Yamanas still lived their traditional
lives. Lucas was born there in 1874, and as he grew up, played and worked with the
natives, first the Yamanas, later the Onas. He spoke their languages and, as adult,
witnessed the decline and extinction of these tribes. Near the end of his colourful life,
he sat down to write an eye-witness account that is both fascinating and enlightening.This
book is a must if you try to understand the fate of the natives of Tierra del Fuego, in
the wake of the white man's arrival.
I have typed out paragraphs that relate to the canoes and life of the Yamanas: click here!
- Natural History, Prehistory, and Ethnography at the Uttermost End of the Earth",
1997 The Trustees of the British Museum, Princeton University Press
In this book, a lot of detail has been collected about the people that lived there and
their customs. I was surprised at the solid evidence that man has lived in Tierra del
Fuego since 9000 years ago. There is also material about the canoes, with some photos I
had not seen yet, like of a dug-out canoe and the picture of a portage that crosses the
narrow part of an island.
The following books were useful in the preparation for the trip to Patagonia, and
some were truly fun to read:
Patagonia, by Bruce Chatwin
This book is an adventure to read. A piece of "Brontosaurus" skin sent to
England by an uncle starts Chatwin's and your own adventure. I have observed that people
from Chile and Argentina are not as enthusiastic about this book as foreign visitors -
which is not surprising as it is an outsider's view, looking in.
in a Thin Country, by Sarah Wheeler
This book is about people in Chile that this young woman encountered
- Latin America by Bike,
by Walter Sienko
Competent advice for the cyclist, even with sample routes
in the Patagonian Andes, a "lonely planet walking guide", by Clem
The trekker's bible. It gives you the information that the park brochures and park staff
don't have but that you can't do without.
- The Voyage of the Beagle, by Charles Darwin
A classic. Written at a time when western civilization had just started to change the
- Birds of Argentina and Uruguay, by T. Narosky and D. Yzurieta
This is a bird book in English, not unlike the Peterson
Vazquez Mazzini Editores
Concepción Arenal 4864
1427 - Buenos Aires - Argentina
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