18 December 2009

Charlie Darwin, Bewildered

December 18 1832
After passing through the straight of Le Maire at Tierra del Fuego, the Beagle anchored at Good Success Bay. Here Darwin had his first encounter with savages [sic]. He was shocked by the primitive way of life they led but was also fascinated by them. A group of four male Fuegians met the landing party. After an attempt to communicate with the Feugians the party presented them with some bright red cloth and the Feugians immediately became friendly with them. The natives initiated a dialogue by patting the crewmen on their chests. Apparently they had the most amazing ability to mimic the crew's gestures and even the words they spoke, often repeating whole English sentences back to them. Darwin was bewildered by all this.

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