"E. Lucas Bridges provides in his brilliantly written book our most valuable resource on the lost heritage of the Yamana." The Daily Beagle
Famous for being the southernmost city in the world, the wild and windswept port of Ushuaia sits at the inhospitable southern tip of Tierra del Fuego in South America. That rugged, rocky landscape of sharp mountains, beech forests, and barren outcrops was originally home to hunter-gatherer Yaghan Indians, the southernmost indigenous people on the planet. The western world's colonization of the area (sometimes called "Fireland") began in the 1800s when explorers and missionaries established settlements. The Bridges family was part of this movement as the founders of Ushuaia, and author E. Lucas Bridges was born there in 1874.
This classic memoir chronicles the captivating Bridges' early life among the coastal Yaghan people and his later initiation into the more remote and fierce Ona tribe. Confronted with unfamiliar cultures and traditions, Bridges engages fully, committing himself to learning and participating in the ways of his neighbors, people he would proudly come to call his friends. As a respected equal, he learns to hunt, fish, farm, canoe, and live amongst them.
Bridges' revealing personal account captures the geography and natural history of the isolated region flawlessly, painting the stunning scenery and amazing encounters in vivid detail. It also documents the tragedy of European colonization. The Yaghans were decimated by disease and violent inter-cultural conflicts; Bridges' unmistakable compassion and admiration for the people and their traditional heritage mark Uttermost Part of the Earth as a seminal work in the literature of historical anthropology. A lucid, informative, funny, and singular first-hand account, this epic autobiography, accompanied by maps and photographs, is a captivating read for anyone interested in exploring the indigenous peoples, culture, and ecology of this exotic homeland at the end of the world.