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The Alacaluf (also called Halakwulup, Kawésqar, Kaweskar) are a South American people living in Chilemarker in the Strait of Magellanmarker (Brunswick Peninsula, and Wellingtonmarker, Santa Inés, and Desolaciónmarker islands), Chile. Their traditional language is known as Kawésqar.


They were a nomadic sea-faring people until the twentieth century. Because of their sea culture, the Kawésqar have never farmed the land.


They were never very numerous; the total population never reached more than five thousand. In the 1930s the Alacaluf settled on Wellington Island, in the town of Puerto Edénmarker. Today, very few Kawésqar remain. The 2002 census found 2,622 people self-identifying as Kawésqar (those that still practiced their native culture or spoke their native language). In 2006, only 15 full-blooded members remained. Lessons on Kawésqar are part of the local curriculum but very few speakers of the language remain.

Tribes and languages

Adwipliin, Aksánas, Alacaluf, Cálen (Cálenches, Calenes,), Caucahue, Enoo, Lecheyel, Taíjataf (Tayataf), Yequinahuere (Yequinahue, Yekinauer).

See also

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