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Why Is It Called A SelkBag?
SELK´BAG = Sleeping Bag + Selk´Nam
The Selk’nam (as they named themselves, which means “men”) were nomad who lived in Chilean’s Austral Extreme, also known as Land of Smokes and finally as Tierra del Fuego (Land of FIRE), due to the numerous bonfires the natives lit at night and which conquerors could see from open seas.
Hunters and collectors, were characterised by their height (1,80 mts. average), physical strength and toughness to adapt to the most hostile environments with below 0 degrees. They silently resisted cold, fatigue, hunger and thirst. These characteristics made them win European respect, as well as their enemies and neighbours’ fear.
Selk’ams were highly concerned of their personal presentation. Any chance was a good one to paint their bodies and face. A great moment were the Hain ceremonies (initiation ceremonies), in which male teenagers passed to their adultness, after numerous and long mental and physical tests (could last months). These ceremonies were highly secret meetings organized by adult men who simulated universal spirits, with defined figures and personalities. They supposed some emerged from the depth of earth and others from the sky. With help of guanaco skin masks or tree crusts, paint all over their bodies and other elements, they could disfigure with huge success the natural condition of these “actors”.
At the end of the XIXth century, a man who studied Selk’nams, said that once he saw a naked man in the middle of the snow, and he asked him how come he wasn’t cold, that people should only leave their face uncovered. The Selk’nam answered: “I am all face”.
This aesthetic essence, their resistance to the most adverse weather conditions, and the freedom nomads represent, have been the main concept pillars for this product’s image.