The photographs in the portfolio Martin Gusinde: Tierra del Fuego 1918-1924 offer a glimpse at a lost culture. Martin Gusinde was a priest, famed for his anthropological work on native groups, particularly on the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego in Southern Chile. In the seven intimate portrait photographs, Gusinde was able to capture the initiation rites of adolescents of the Selk’nam tribe.
Of the 1,200 photos Gusinde took, whose negatives now reside at the Anthropos Institut in Sankt Augustin, Germany, seven prints have been specially selected for this portfolio. Limited to only 30 copies (individually numbered from 1 to 30; and I-V for non-commercial purposes), this portfolio was designed through the collaborative efforts of the Paris-based Éditions Xavier Barral and the Benrido Collotype Atelier. The 24 x 33 cm prints were produced by collotype on fine art pulp paper.
Included within this portfolio is the French publication of the book entitled, “L’Esprit des Hommes de la Terre de Feu, Selk’nam, Yamana, Kawésqar” [The Spirit of Men in Tierra del Fuego: Selknam, Yamana, and Kawesqar] (Éditions Xavier Barral, 2015). It was written by Gusinde and are a great accompaniment to the photographs in the portfolio, shedding light and deepening the understanding of the Selk’nam people who are now no more, yet kept alive through his work.