FUEGIA AND JEMMY
Robert Fitzroy was the Beagle’s captain. The Beagle was an English ship that carried on a mission of cartography in South America between 1826 and1830. Fitzroy caught some indigenous people and brought them to England to educate them. Jemmy Button was one of them. He was born in 1816 and his name in Yaghán (his language) was Orundellico. Jemmy learned English and Spanish. Fuegia Basket lived between 1821 and 1883 and her name in her aboriginal tongue was Yokcushly. Fuegia had an amazing facility for learning languages. She learnt Spanish, Portuguese, and English.
Charles Darwin, who traveled on the Beagle to Tierra del Fuego, commented about the exceptional capacity of indigenous people from Chile to learn languages. He said, “They repeat correctly all words of a sentence that they have heard and they remember the words for a long time.” Darwin thought that these people had developed their senses better thanEuropeans.
I have studied some languages; however, my learning is poor. Perhaps I have lost my primitive sensibility or maybe the best way for me to learn is to travel like Fuegia and Jemmy