Translate page with Google

Story Publication logo December 8, 2021

Clash of Civilizations: The True History of the Selk’nam People



The death of Indigenous culture, language, customs, and traditions has been a continuous process...

author #1 image author #2 image
Multiple Authors

This summary was translated from Portuguese. To read the original story in full, visit Folha De S.Paulo. This report can also be found in Radar Magazine (Italy) and Público (Portugal).

Learn more about this project in Leica Magazine (worldwide).

Just over 500 years ago, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan discovered a sea passage in the south of the planet, a region unknown to Europeans, who called it Terra Australis Incognita. This discovery united the world in the first globalization of modern society. The pass became known as the Strait of Magellan.

In the wake of Magellan came the European farmers, who had already domesticated plants and animals and, upon reaching the now-named Tierra del Fuego, found hunter-gatherers who were living there over 10,000 years, as a result of the great adventure of man’s migration throughout the planet. Among the tribes there was an ethnic group that would be known as Selk’nam. The meeting between European farmers and hunter-gatherers meant the death sentence of the latter. A tragedy still to be discussed. Considered extinct in the history books and laws written by the victors, the survivors claim to be alive. And now they are fighting for recognition.

As a nonprofit journalism organization, we depend on your support to fund more than 170 reporting projects every year on critical global and local issues. Donate any amount today to become a Pulitzer Center Champion and receive exclusive benefits!


teal halftone illustration of a young indigenous person


Indigenous Rights

Indigenous Rights

Support our work

Your support ensures great journalism and education on underreported and systemic global issues