The Great Haruwin of the Selk’nam is a Native American chiefdom founded in 1689 by Chief David Chongat Yagich of the Selk’nam people on the island of Selk’nam Yagich (OTL Tierra del Fuego). It grew quickly to become the first modern, non-colonial state in the Southern part of Atlantia. It's people are multi-ethnic Atlantian natives, and while Catholicism is the dominant religion, there is a strong Taoist minority thanks to the nation's proximity to Miyako and several other local religions.
David Chongat Yagich and the Foundation of the HaruwinChongat Yagich inherited the throne of two neighboring Selk’nam tribes in 1686 at the age of 22, his father having been the chief
of the Ona tribe and his mother being the only daughter of the chief of the Gununa tribe. This union of two tribes made David Chongat Yagich the leader of a haruwin (hunting territory) of a size previously unknown among the nomadic Selk’nam. He then married his sisters to the chiefs of two neighboring tribes, forming an alliance that encompassed four previously independent haruwin.
In 1691, Chongat Yagich and his brother-in-law chiefs convened a council in which they decided to form a “Great Haruwin” to mitigate disputes among their people over the hunting rights to the various guanaco herds that roamed the territory. While the individual chiefs maintained authority within their own haruwin, the “Council of the Three” made laws governing the guanaco herds and the flow trade between haruwin. More importantly, the Council of the Three also jointly handled relations with areas outside the Great Haruwin. Hence was forged the first quasi-nation-state among the Selk’nam. Chongat Yagich was named as head of the council and given the title "Great Chief Over All the Guanaco Herds." He settled his nomadic tribe on the shores of the Great Lake (Lake Fagnano in OTL) and called the place "Ona Yagich" (in OTL, Ona Yagich is located on the site of what is now the town of Tolhuin, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina).
The new state grew quickly and soon discovered iron and moden boatmaking with the help of neighboring Japanese and Welsh colonies. Soon, it occupied almost all of the island and took in all four of the island's ethnic groups (Selk'nam, Haush, Yaghan, and Alacaluf). Ona Yagich and the Southern port town of Miyako Yagich (OTL Puerto Williams, Chile) grew into booming towns, and settlers were dispatched to the De Mor Tir islands (OTL Falklands) and the newly discovered island of K'onip Yagich (OTL South Georgia), and while the De Mor Tir settlement was soon cede to Wales, K'onip Yagich became settled and the city of K'onip is today considered one of the founding cities of the Haruwin. It also became a center of Selk'nam whaling - the economic lifeblood of the early Haruwin.Welsh missionaries succeeded in converting many of the inhabitants to Catholicism. One local convert entered the Franciscan order and took the Christian name Maughold. Friar Maughold soon started a monastery on K'onip and drew a large local following. His polpularity spread to Ona Yagich where he was a favorite of the local elite. Chongat Yagich became a deveotee, and was publicly baptized with the name David in 1715. The baptism of David Chongat Yagich became not only a turning point, but a great tragedy when traditional shamans stormed the stage at the event, killing both the Chief and Friar Maughold.
Maughold was immediately canonized by the Pope as a martyr, and became patron saint of the Selk'nam.
The reign of Cornelus Tuch'hueple (the Great)David was suceededed by his son-in-law Cornelius Tuch'huelpe, who was elected by a council of chiefs. Tuch'huelpe was a commoner who had risen to prominence as an entertainer by training guanacos to dance and jump through hoops - a show which later became the world-renowned Great Circus of Ona Yagich. His success brought him royal attention, and he was married to Chongat Yagich's daughter Yu'arik'nam. After the marriage, he was given the title of "Prince Consort" and elevated to become the third-ranking official in the Haruwin. Following the death of David Chongat Yagich, he was baptized into Catholicism, taking the name Cornelius. Yu'arik'nam took the name Sarah and their daughter Te'kina'hnam was given the name Rachel.
Cornelius Tuch'huelpe enjoyed a long reign of 35 years, in which he is generally said to have built the Haruwin into a modern Christian nation that could compete with the cultures of Europe. He negotiated the entry of the Teushen people of mainland Atlantia and commissioned the building of the fouth and final founding city of the Haruwin, Teushen Yijich (OTL Rio Gallegos, Argentina).
As a result of his own beginnings as an entertainer, Cornelius was keenly aware of the role of art and culture in societal development. He extravagantly patronized Selk'nam artisans and architects. His most favored artisans were elevated to the position of Chief Architect and given charge of te grand project of raising a catheral in Ona Yagich. The holders of this office under Cornelus were three of hte greatest artists in Selk'nam history: the sculptor and architect Rafael Chon'ijich (who later defected to Wales), the painter and architect Michael Angelus Gwit'ijich, and finally the printmaker and architect Vincent Hgog'nav'ich.
In the final years of his life, Cornelius also sent out the Taoist explorer Zhangzi Hg'ich, although he was said to be skeptical of Hg'ich's plan to circumnavigate the Southern Ocean, and signed the documents only after Hg'ich agreed to fund the entire mission himself.
Cornelius Tuch'huelpe died of a stomach ailment at the age of 73 in the year 1715. His death is generally treated by historians as the end of the "golden age of founders" and the beginning of the "age of partisans".
The contentious reign of Great Chief Ge Hong Ctli'i'iAfter the death of Tuch'huelpe, the Council of Chiefs was deeply divided between a faction backing John Chongat, a grandson of David Chongat Yagich, and an non-Catholic faction backing a young Taoist Yaghan Chief from Miyako Yagich, Laozi Ctli'ich. A third faction, from Catholic K'onip Island, which had been expected to back John Chongat, instead backed the K'onipian noble Pius Gunu'un'ichin as a protest against the dominance of the mainland aristocracy. After the first ballot, Pius was infuriated by the assertion of John Chongat's backers that they had the endorsement of Christ, and entered into backroom negotiations with the backers of Laozi Ctl'ich.
The negotiations produced the compromise candidacy of Laozi's 67 year-old uncle, Ge Hong Ctli'i'i, who was surprisingly elcted as the Haruwin's first Taoist Great Chief. The election was controversial, as the Taoist faith encompassed only 10% of the Haruwin's population, and was the third ranking religion behind the overwhelming Catholic majority and the Taoist-Shamanist syncretism known as the Hain of Lao Tzu, which commanded 20% of the Haruwin's people. However, the Hain, along with traditional shamanistic chiefs of the recently added Teushen, were seen as rural and less sophisticated. By backing a Taoist, a faith that predominated in the second city of Miyako Yagich, these factions thought that their candidate would be perceived as more civilized.
Ctli'i'i engaged in a heavy military buildup, especailly among Taoists, as the area of greatest opposition to his rule was the capital itself. He also aggressively pursued strong relations with the Mononobe Shogunate in hopes that his home city could be made into the greatest center of Taoism outside Kyoto.
However, he also signed a pre-election agreement with Pius Gunu'unichin to retain the Catholic nature of the state. Pius was installed in the new post of "Prime Minister", and Great Chief Ge Hong actually accelerated the ongoing construction of the Ona Yagich cathedral as a way of showing his committment to retaining the Selk'nam's place in Christendom.
List of Great Chiefs
David Chongat Yagich - 1689-1715
Cornelius Tuch'huelpe - 1715-1750
Ge Hong Ctli'i'i - 1715-Present