European Encounters with the Yamana People of Cape Horn, Before and After Darwin is a documented narration of dramas played out from 1578 to 2000 in the Cape Horn area, Tierra del Fuego, by the native Yamana and Charles Darwin, explorers, sealers, whalers, Anglican missionaries, and three other famous people who made contact with some of the last Yamana. The narration, based on geographical, historical, and ethnographic sources and Anne Chapman's fieldwork with the last few descendants of the Yamana, describes the Europeans' motives for going to Tierra del Fuego and the Yamana's motives for staying there some 6000 years, what the outsiders gained, and what the Yamana lost.
The main objective of European Encounters with the Yamana People of Cape Horn, Before and After Darwin is to incorporate the hunting-gathering Yamana into world history by evoking their way of life, especially Jemmy Button and Fuegia Basket in comparison with the outsiders they encountered, especially Drake, Cook, and Darwin in their scientific world in the context of their experiences with the Yamana in Tierra del Fuego and nearby areas.
Anne Chapman is a Franco-American ethnologist. She has done extensive fieldwork in Honduras with the Tolupan (Jicaque) since 1955 and the Lenca since 1965. In Tierra del Fuego (Argentina and Chile), she has worked with the last members of the Selk'nam (Onas) people, as well as with the only four descendants of the Yamana, from 1985 into the 1990s, who were knowledgeable about their tradition and spoke the ancient language. In 1969 and 1970, Chapman made a survey of former Indian (Haush) territory in southeastern Isla Grande, and in 1982 and 1985 she made the first archaeological surveys on Staten Island. Her most important work concerning the Fuegians is Drama and Power in a Hunting Society: The Selk'nam of Tierra del Fuego, recently reedited in Spanish and published in French. She has also published La Isla de los Estados en la prehistoria: Primeros datos arqueologicos, The End of a World: The Selk'nam of Tierra del Fuego, The Hain, Selk'nam Initiation Ceremony, and three chapters in Cape Horn 1882-1883: Rencontre avec les Indiens Yahgan, which contains some of the best photographs of the Yamana. She and Ana Montes made a film titled The Ona People: Life and Death in Tierra del Fuego, and twenty years later, in 1987 and 1988, she made a second film, Homage to the Yahgans: The Last Indians of Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn.