April 04, 2010

Chilean play about Jemmy Button

Jemmy Button, The Yaghan Boy Educated in England, Returns To Chile

Story of indigenous boy from Magallenes--captured and taken to England--plays out this week in Santiago theatre

By Loretta van der HorstIn 1830, British captain Robert Fitz-Roy kidnapped four Yaghan children from a tribe in far southern Chile’s Tierra del Fuego and brought them to England to be educated. The oldest was a 14-year-old boy, renamed Jemmy Button, referring to the button made of Mother of Pearl, which is what Fitz-Roy paid for him.

Jemmy Button’s life story will be performed by Tryo Teatro Banda, starting April 8, in the Catholic University theatre.
And:“We are interested in addressing the conflict between creationism and Darwin’s theory of evolution and how many tribes were wiped out under the pretence of progress,” said Francisco Sanchez, director of the theater group.

The play will show how Button loses his Western trappings rapidly after returning to his tribe and how the “civilization experiment” had failed.
Comment:  Is it just a coincidence that this play is opening soon after I talked about Jemmy Button in Darwinian View of Indians? Maybe, maybe not.

Fore more on the subject, see Native Plays and Other Stage Shows.

Below:  "The story of Jemmy Button, the boy part of a 'civilization experiment' comes to life in Santiago later this week." (Tom Maher, Santiago Times)

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