L'esprit des hommes de la Terre de Feu

L'esprit des hommes de la Terre de Feu

Between 1918 and 1924, over four journeys to Tierra del Fuego, the German missionary Martin Gusinde became the only anthropologist who had been capable of conducting an in-depth study of the Selk’nam, Yamana, and Kawésqar. What might have remained simply a classic example of an ethnographic missionary’s journey emerges today as an unprecedented experience in the field. Martin Gusinde was deeply immersed within these societies, to the point of speaking the language and being introduced to the Hain initiation rite. The 1 200 photographs he brought back with him constitute a unique testimonial on these populations that have now disappeared.


The Éditions Xavier Barral have undertaken the digitization of the collection archived at the Anthropos Institue in Sankt Augustin, Germany. Christine Barthe, in charge of photography at the quai Branly Museum in Paris, and Xavier Barral have made a selection of about 250 photographs for this publication, the first one dedicated to the photographs of Martin Gusinde.


To help guide us on this photographic exploration, texts by Christine Barthe, Marisol Palma Behnke, Anne Chapman, and Dominique Legoupil provide keys for interpretation and place these enigmatic images back in their context. 

Press reviews

Click here to watch the interview with Xavier Barral (in French) about the project


Two versions: French and Spanish

Hardcover with cloth

25 x 31 cm, 300 pages

230 B&W photographs


Christine BartheDominique LegoupilMarisol Palma BehnkeAnne Chapman

Sets and individual piezographic prints available. Contact us for more information. 

Portfolio of collotype prints (sold out): Martin Gusinde, Tierra del Fuego 1918-1924


In collaboration with the Anthropos Institute

With the support of the Région Ile-de-France

ISBN : 978-2-36511-043-3

60,00 €

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