Earrings and Pirates


During the Golden Age of piracy, many of the voyages undertaken by privateers and pirates were encouraged by ships laden with gold, silver and precious stones. Many of these trips entailed serious difficulties, especially the routes that passing the southernmost point of the island of Hornos and the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego, in the southern area of Chile, known at the time as Cape Horn.

In 1578 Drake, was the first to cross Cape Horn successfully. The waters surrounding the Cape are particularly dangerous, due to its strong winds and waves, the presence of icebergs, and a thick lingering haze when the storms calmed. All of these made and still make the cape almost impossible to cross, even the most experienced navigators, many of whom were shipwrecked despite their expertise.

The lucky ones who crossed and lived to tell of the hell they had been through hung a ring-shaped earring from one ear as a symbol of luck and to remind them of their miraculous feat.