How it all started

The Infinite Stories have started! The first episodes talk about Gaméla and her brother Sisoi. They live in canoes on the waters of Tierra del Fuego together with their parents. The life of the family resembles that of the Yahgan, a nomadic canoe group. These nomads travel the many sea estuaries and waters that surround the thousands of islands of this archipelago. They usually sleep on a beach that they specifically look for every night. (*)

The history of the Yahgan indigenous community interests me. It all started when my husband and I visited Tierra del Fuego, went to museums, consulted websites and read books.

The Yahgans lived in the midst of nature, using only what they needed and sharing everything with each other. I gladly transmit this legacy that they have left us.

Sources I used are found on the webpage Literature. The historical facts, traditions and customs of the Yahgans are found in the (English chapters of) ‘Yagán Martin Gusinde Museum Book’ or ‘Martin Gusinde Museum Publications‘.

I have created these stories to give life to the events of that time. The stories never end. You can write an episode, continue with a story or write a comment. Do you want to draw a picture or send a photo about a story? Send it to my e-mail, tell me what story it belongs to and I will post it on your behalf on the website.

Aly Hendriks

I’m grateful to Max Hoogenraad-Veeren and Patricia Hendriks for reading and commenting on my English translation.

(*) This is the Yahgan family of Infinite Stories:
• Gaméla (daughter, 11 years old), her brother Sisoi (son, 9), mother (32), father (31).
• Aunt Uwale-kipa is mother’s friend (and father’s sister).
• The grandparents are the parents of dad.
• Neighbours often change because of the Yahgan existence as nomadic canoe group.
Although the names of the characters, traditions and customs are inspired by Yahgan history, the family of Gaméla and Sisoi does not exist. Similar to a movie, the characters and the adventures are invented to give life to the history, but any similarity is coincidence.