The Onas were the main inhabitants of the island of Tierra del Fuego. They called themselves Selk'Nam, which means "clan of the separate branch" or "clan of the elected branch".
They were a village of nomadic hunters pedestrians, descendants of an ancient hunting tradition, who traveled most of the Big Island following the Guanaco.
Regarding their traditions, among the most ancestral is one known as "HAIN" based mainly on parties and rites of initiation to youth where they represented multiple spirits through paints and masks made of wood bark.
For the young man, the Hain ceremony was a rite of initiation, where the "Kloketen" (initiated) was subjected to a long educational experience before becoming an adult "maars".
Hain ended when men, for one reason or another, so determined; after the last visit of the spirit of Shoort to the camp, a counselor announced to the public (women and children) that the ceremony was over.
At the beginning of the 20th century, they were subjected to extermination by the farmers dedicated to sheep raising and gold hunters.
However, its culture and its people are still alive, and through communities like Covadonga Ona who is fighting for the recognition of this culture and its people, as a living heritage of the Selk'Nam, the men and women of the end of the world.
Here we honor the imaginative and extinct Onas through the memory and transfer of its rich history, which tells the origins and end of this ancestral and magical people and part of their worldview that inspires us today.
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