Based on our experience here in Tierra del Fuego the past few days, the name doesn’t seem so apt; either Tierra de la Agua or Tierra del Viento would be more descriptive.
The first day here we went for a hike around Glaciar Martial, lost the trail (a story for another day), and ended up trying to cross a marshy meadow that threatened to suck our shoes right off our feet. Or perhaps swallow us entirely. Anyway, there’s plenty of water here, both on land (glaciers, snow, streams, rivers, marshes) and in the ocean (the whole area is an archipelago), so that’s why I nominate “Tierra de la Agua”.
Today we went on a sailboat cruise in the Beagle Channel, where we experienced high winds — the sailboat captain said we were lucky because they can’t always proceed on sails alone, but on the other hand, it was so windy the entire port was closed for a while, and it was viciously cold. (Not just on the sailboat, but everywhere we’ve been here, it’s warm if you get sun and no wind, but quite cold if you get wind and no sun, which has been the case a fair portion of the time.) The native Yamana people supposedly didn’t build their own permanent shelters, but depending on the direction of the wind moved from island to island to shelter behind rock walls that best block the current wind — so we’re not the only ones to notice that the wind makes you cold. So that’s why I nominate “Tierra del Viento”.
It’s actually from the fires that the Yamana pervasively used to keep warm — apparently they didn’t like wearing clothes that would just get wet and provide no protection, so they kept fires burning at all times — that Tierra del Fuego actually gets its name. I find it a little ironic to name a geographical area not after geographical features which are relatively permanent, but instead after something as fleeting and transitory as fire or the people who make it.