Jessi’s Blog: Baja Cave Paintings
The Great Murals are located in the mountains of Guadalupe, San Francisco, San Juan, and San Borja in the central part of the Baja California peninsula. They are dated at roughly 7500 years old, showing mostly wildlife and human interaction (such as hunting, or deer running). The designs are a numerous, stretching miles down the mountains. The only way to get to it is by a three day mule, up a windy path up the mountain.
The murals were discovered by Jesuit missionaries between 1683 and 1720. The Jesuits thought it was the work of the
local Cochimí Indian population, but the Cochimí did not take recognition for them, insisting that it was a race of giants as the rock paintings are larger than humans.
The paintings—and the many rock engravings found in the Sierra—are the work of the prehistoric population that inhabited the Baja California peninsula. They are reminscent of the Lascaux caves in France, filled with prehistoric drawings of animals that can only been known today as fossils.
No consensus exists about the motivations that led to the painting of the Great Murals. Among the contexts suggested for their production have been hunting magic, warfare,
shamans’ traces, weather control, and ancestor veneration. Whatever the reason may be, they are part of UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, and with a rightful reason. They are beautiful reminders of the unificaiton of humanity over a vast amount of time; and the truly classic depiction of art, as it also is the indictation of a race of people otherwise unknown
More of Jessica’s Blogs:
“Indigenous Body Art”
“Jose Guadalupe Posada”
“La Virgen de Guadalupe Defendiendo Chicano Rights”
“Aztec Death Rituals”
“What was Mexico Like?”
“El Dia de Los Muertos”