Mulato, a Tehuelche Chief.
Hands, stenciled at the Cave of the Hands
The approximate distribution of languages in the southernmost regions of South America during the years of the Spanish conquest.
Pinturas Canyon, view from the caves
Tehuelche chiefs, located in Santa Cruz Province in the south of Argentina.
Entrance to Cueva de las Manos
Grupo de patagones en puerto Peckett. An 1832 drawing made during the voyage of Jules Dumont d'Urville.
The entrance of the cave
Distribution of pre-Hispanic peoples in Southern Patagonia
Paintings of a humanoid, guanacos, hands, and concentric circles
Tehuelche Cloak. Museo de La Plata.
Dynamic, black guanacos in running motion, typical of style A2
The classification of Chonan languages, according to Roberto Lehmann-Nitsche.
Tourists visiting the cave
Rock art at Cueva de las Manos, Santa Cruz Province.
Portrait of Chief Junchar by José del Pozo in Puerto Deseado, in 1789, during the Malaspina Expedition (1789–1794).
Tehuelches in Río Gallegos.
Under General Roca, the Conquest of the Desert extended Argentine power into Patagonia
Elderly Tehuelche woman smoking a tobacco pipe.
Rosa Chiquichano, of Tehuelche descent. A past member of the Argentine Chamber of Deputies, representing the Chubut Province.
The Tehuelche flag: The blue of the sea, the brown of the mountains, the black arrow pointing north and the Southern Cross.

The site was last inhabited around 700 AD, with the final cave dwellers possibly being ancestors of the Tehuelche tribes.

- Cueva de las Manos

The ancestors of the Tehuelche are probably responsible for the creation of the rock art of Cueva de las Manos, created from about 13,000 to 9,000 years ago up until around 700 A.D. 6000 years ago the Toldense industry emerged, consisting primarily of goods such as two-sided sub-triangular projectile points, lateral and terminal scrapers, bifacial knives and tools made from bone.

- Tehuelche people
Mulato, a Tehuelche Chief.

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Patagonia

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Patagonia refers to a geographical region that encompasses the southern end of South America, governed by Argentina and Chile.

Patagonia refers to a geographical region that encompasses the southern end of South America, governed by Argentina and Chile.

Río Negro Province, Argentina.
Ainsworth Bay and Marinelli Glacier, Chile.
View of Punta Arenas, Chile, in winter
Santa Cruz Province
Black-browed albatross, near Ushuaia
Map of the indigenous peoples of Southern Patagonia
Cueva de las Manos site in Santa Cruz, Argentina
Nao Victoria, the replica of the first ship to pass through the Strait of Magellan
An 1840s illustration of indigenous Patagonians from near the Straits of Magellan, from Voyage au pole sud et dans l'Océanie by French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville
Tehuelche warriors in Patagonia
Map of the advance of the Argentine frontier until the establishment of zanja de Alsina
Under General Roca, the Conquest of the Desert extended Argentine power into Patagonia
Tierra del Fuego sheep ranch, 1942: The region's primary activity then, it has been eclipsed by the decline in the global wool market as much as by petroleum and gas extraction.
Gauchos mustering sheep in Patagonia
Whale watching off the Valdes Peninsula
La Trochita on its Chubut Province route: Formerly the sole rapid transport means in the province, La Trochita is now a tourist attraction.

The people he called the Patagons are now believed to have been the Tehuelche, who tended to be taller than Europeans of the time.

The Cueva de las Manos is a famous site in Santa Cruz, Argentina.

Santa Cruz Province, Argentina

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Province of Argentina, located in the southern part of the country, in Patagonia.

Province of Argentina, located in the southern part of the country, in Patagonia.

Ochre-ink art in Cueva de las Manos, Santa Cruz. Made by the long-vanished Toldense people, they are 13,000–9,000 years old.
Scene from La Patagonia rebelde. Based on an ill-fated local strike in 1922, the 1974 epic was made with the encouragement of Santa Cruz's governor.
Néstor and Cristina Kirchner (center) in conference with fellow Patagonia-area lawmakers.
The windswept Patagonian landscape of Santa Cruz.
Köppen climate map of Santa Cruz, Argentina
Oceanographic craft ARA Puerto Deseado
Argentine Lake, near El Calafate.
Perito Moreno Glacier, near El Calafate. Until recently, the only glacier of its type in the world that was still expanding.
Río Gallegos Cathedral.
The departaments and the respective capitals.

The indigenous people of the province are the Tehuelches, who despite European exploration from the 16th century onwards, retained independence until the late 19th century.

600 kilometres further north of El Chaltén, by the dirt road Ruta 40, the Cueva de las Manos near the town of Perito Moreno allows the few tourists who venture to this point to see the prehistoric wall paintings in the caves near the Pinturas River.