From Thomas Bridges [October 1860 or after]1
– 1. The Fuegians do nod their heads vertically, to express assent;
and horizontally to express dissent.2
2. They blush much, but chiefly in regard to women, but they certainly blush also at their own personal appearance.3
3. They certainly, express astonishment by widely openning their eyes, by raising the eyebrows, and openning the mouth.4
4. They evince anger with the same signs as we do, with an angry face, which becomes pale. They stamp their feet, and walk about distractedly, and if very angry they cry, and inflict pain on themselves.5
5. When out of spirits, they evince it in the very same manner as we do.
6. They express contempt by shooting out the lips, and hissing through them, and by turning up the nose. To spit at one, is the highest mark of contempt6
7. They frown greatly when deep in thought, as I have frequently seen.7
8. The Fuegians consider a woman a pretty one, who has a round face, who is slender, yet compact, and strong. And it is very certain that the nearer a person approaches to the Caucasian race, the most beautiful, for what European females they have seen, they decidedly looked upon them as beautiful.8 〈section missing〉9 their noses, and are clever to knock off the shellfish at the first blow. They are excellent swimmers, and ready to bring any bird out of the sea. They are allowed to use the wigwams as their dormitories, and are very good watch dogs. To make their dogs lighter, the Fuegians, whilst they are puppies cut off their tails.10 The two last questions I cannot answer.11
Answers to queries on expression with respect to Fuegians.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2643,” accessed on 25 April 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2643