South American Missionary Society : Tierra del Fuego, 1898

Decades before the arrival of organized civil administration to Tierra del Fuego, various British individuals and religious societies became concerned for the welfare of America's southernmost native groups. A succession of Anglican mission stations was established in the archipelago lying to the south of the main island (see map), providing both spiritual and practical support to the Yahgan (Yámana) natives. The settlement at Tekenika Bay on Hoste Island, illustrated here, operated from 1892 to 1907. (More information: mission records from Tierra del Fuego , review of the missionary work in Southern Patagonia)
These images, and others on the site, are taken from a collection of sepia photographs in the archives of the South American Mission Society of Tunbridge Wells, England, whom we thank for authorizing their publication. (Other images: shelter, mission house, children, canoe)

[click images to enlarge]

Tekenika Bay: The Setting

(1) pier

settlement and surroundings
(2) settlement and surroundings

Missionaries and Pupils

Yahgan girls
(3) girls
  Yahgan women
(4) young women

Yahgan men
(5) young men

Other Residents

building a shelter
(6) building a shelter
  group of men
(7) group of men
  family "wigwam"
(8) family "wigwam"

Source: South American Mission Society (Tunbridge Wells, England) (1-8)
Map (adapted): "Streams in the Wasteland", Elizabeth Dooley, Punta Arenas, 1993
Additional thanks: Jeremy Howat
Last updated: 06-X-2007