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Body Paintings

Pintura ritual. Hombres preparados parala ceremonia del Hain

The strength of the Selknam culture was the body painting. Reddening the body with attractive designs was an institution in the life of this people, as much in its routine existence as in its magical and ritual aspect.

The ceremony of the Klóketen or Hain is the widespread aspect of the cultural life, corresponding to the ritual of initiation of the young men in the tribes from a common territory. The boys of between fourteen and sixteen years were separated of their home to become Klóketen in the maturity through the ceremony. The most important and interesting aspect of the Hain ceremony was the harassment. It became on the boy by terrorific representations of spirits and the boy would have to remain full of value. The most known was the Kótaich, or the Short spirit. Xalpen was another one, but of feminine nature. Also was Ulen, Tanu and Matán.