Posted by Fred on October 10, 2004

In Reply to: Patagonia posted by Smokey Stover on October 09, 2004

: : : : According to Antonio Pigafetta's journal, The Voyage of Magellan , Magellan gave the Patagonians their name because they had big feet, since they stuffed straw in their shoes made of guanaco hides. (SS -- Where did you read that the natives did not know how to protect themselves from the cold?)
: : : :
: : : My remark about naked natives was not in reference to the Patagonians, but only to the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego. It comes from the account of some early explorer, but I can't say which one--perhaps the Italian one (I forget his name), whose account I have read in part (in Italian). You should read what he has to say about the natives of the Philippine Islands, especially their sexual customs. SS

: : Sorry, Fred, obviously you've read Pigafetta more recently than I. So if it's not he, then I can't say who it is or was. And you have undoubtedly seen his take on Philippine sexual culture. Even there, I could be remembering some other source--rather imperfectly. SS

: Color me slow. I think I missed Fred's point. He was joking about the shoes being protection against the cold. Sucker that I am, I took him seriously. SS

I wasn't joking. According to the translator of A.P.'s journal, Magellan's use of 'Patagonia' comes from 'big feet', a reference to the thermal (insulated) boots worn by the natives. See p. 12 of _The Voyage of Magellan: The Journal of Antonio Pigafetta_ (a translation by Paula Spurlin Paige from the edition in the William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey).