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The last yagan from Tierra del Fuego

The pararadigm of a nation extinction

 

The grandma Cristina Calderón was declared Human Alive Treasure by the Government of Chile. She is the last yagan, the last ethnically pure descendant from the  nomadic canoeists, sea lions hunters, that inhabited  Tierra del Fuego since 6.000 years ago, and until the arrival of  europeans and the beggining of their extinction.

 

Cristina is the only one in the world that speaks the language yamana or yagan, a language of an amazing rich vocabulary, with more than 30.000 words, and collaborates in diverse projects  trying to avoid its disappearance.

 

She lives in a modest house in Villa Ukika, the settlement on the banks of Beagle's Channel that take in the yaganes, close to Port Williams, the most austral village of the planet, in the Chilean Navarino Island.

There, she reveals slowly the testament of a culture that agonizes.

 

When Cristina dies, a language and a culture will die with her. She is the paradigm of the extinction of a nation.