Conchales Yaganes
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Memory Landscape

A conchal is a circular mound of shells, deposited by the Yagán people around their akar (home). Proper barriers to the hostile weather, conchales served as wind stoppers for the ingenious natives, who found sustainable ways to inhabit their territory, using every element of the landscape to their favour while developing deep knowledge and wisdom of their natural environment.

Thousands of years later, the coasts of Navarino still display how Yaganes intervened the territory, an anthropologic relict, a persistent footprint of Yagan life on the landscape. This is partly a hidden landscape, few know of its existence, easily mistaken for an insignificant hump on the beach.

These ancient shelters rest lonely and neglected, many times ran over by the advances of civilization and the ignorance of present-day men. Without urgent protection efforts we will forever lose this ancient memory, these anthropologic monuments lying on the Navarino coast.


Coasts and Beaches / Patagonian Andes

The end of the Ice Age: glaciers take a step back while human settlements take a step forward.

The coast of Navarino Island was quite different when Yagán people disembarked, thousands of years ago. The Earth was alive and in movement due to the rapid retreat of the ice, the land was being slowly uplifted while melted ice was being fed to the oceans, increasing the sea level.

The stage of this dance between ocean land was the home of the Yagán people; ancient conchales are record of their settlements, which can now be found seven to ten meters high inland, on terraces, hidden from those who don’t know what to search for.

The Yagán people have always been intimate partners with the Sea, following its migration. Their memory can thus be the window to trace the history of the climate still to be unveiled by scientists.

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