Ranching Between Ice and Sky in Patagonia
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because Patagonia isn’t just a tourist’s “end of the Earth.”
Patagonia has a stunning landscape but it’s a difficult terrain for animal husbandry: cold, icy, wet, mountainous. Ranching there, between ice and sky, requires years of knowledge and skill, and indeed, the cowboys of Southern Chile are called baqueanos, which translates literally as “the knower of place.” To be a baqueano in the truest sense is to have personal experience over time in the region, according to Andria Hautamaki, a California-based photographer who took these pictures in 2014.
Horses still “disappear.” People still fight with knives. Cattle are stolen and rebranded. Lassos are handmade out of rawhide from wild bulls. The AM/FM radio remains the only news source to reach most ranches. Meanwhile, Patagonia is changing and adapting as land use slowly shifts from ranching to tourism-related activities.