Magic and rituals in Pre-Columbian civilizations in South America

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Not sure if I’m being redundant but This is the book these images are from if that is of any help : The Lost Tribes of Tierra Del Fuego: Selk’nam, Yamana, Kawésqar Book by Anne Chapman Its more of a photography book than a history book though ( it’s amazing )


There is a book called Aztec by Gary Jenning . Without a doubt is the best historical fiction of the mexica peoples (Aztec, mayans, and so on ) I can not recomend the book enough. Do give it a go and be mesmerized about how detailed it is.


Anthropologist from Argentina here! First of all, yes, those paintings are Selk’nam. This **isn’t even close to my field** but, to my knowledge, what you’re looking for wouldn’t be too easy to find, even in Spanish. There are many indigenous peoples in Argentina, but the Selk’nam live in a very remote place —Tierra del Fuego— and there aren’t many people who identify as such. After centuries of genocide and invisibilization, it’s only in the last few decades that we’ve seen some indigenous peoples and languages resurface. Even then, centuries of pressure to adapt to the national identity resulted in practices disappearing at a faster rate than usual. Others remain, for sure, changed as all societies change. Although there are more works about the Selk’nam than some other indigenous people, they are mostly old. The only thing I can think of besides Anne Chapman’s work is “Los Selk’nams” by Luis Alberto Borrero. I don’t know much about the author but it could be a good place to start, since he’s an anthropologist and the book isn’t very old, although kinda tedious (for me, at least). Astroargie linked some books. I’d take a look at Anne Chapman’s, but I wouldn’t go straight for the one by Martín Gusinde if you are only getting into this now. He seems to address exactly what you’re interested in, so I’m not gonna say “don’t read it”. But older anthropology tends to give… the “wrong” idea about other societies, to put it simpy. If I were you, I’d read it more as literature than anything else. Reading the classics is crucial for a broader understanding of anthropology, yes, but you need the disciplinary knowledge to be able to read between the lines. EDIT: as for things not related to the Selk’nam, you could look up Pablo Wright. He’s worked with Qom religious practices and I’m sure he must have published something in english, since he’s lived in the states. Alejandro Martín López researches religion and astronomy (!) in indigenous peoples aswell. Both are great anthropologists AND teachers. EDIT 2: comments by soybean377 (Anne Chapman’s book) and grubgobbler (mind your concepts, young man) are on spot.


Many, if not all, of these images are from Tierra Del Fuego. I remember seeing them in a book when I was working at a college library. Edit: sorry I can’t recall the title. If my memory is correct, they were from a collection of photos taken by a Jesuit missionary that remained filed away for a long time before being rediscovered recently.


I have a BA degree in Religious Studies with a focus on Pre-Colombian Mesoamericans and these pictures are definitely not depicting the Mexicas or Mayan speaking peoples. My education on the Incan peoples is limited but it doesn’t appear to be part of their culture either. The photos look like possible Amazonian tribes? Do a bit of research and find some universities that offer programs in either South American native religions or South American studies and they should be able to provide you with some answers or at least point you in the right direction. Lastly, many academics are published (even if it is just in peer reviewed publications) so perhaps also do a search of something like “professor of SA native beliefs” and see what pops up. 😁