Cave Painting in Punta del Este
- Submitted by: manso
- Arts and Culture
- 11 / 23 / 2010
Autor: Marta Gómez Ferrals. The eminent Cuban researcher Fernando Ortiz announced in 1922 the undeniable scientific value of the five caves discovered early this century in Punta del Este, former Isla de Pinos, and now Isle of Youth.
The wise man described those caves, especially the cavern Number one as the Sistine Chapel of the West Indian cave painting and time proved he was right.
Located on the cliffs of the Isle of Youth south coast and about 100 miles away from its capital, Nueva Gerona, these sites still claim a greater attention of those concerned, for many reasons. The main goal is to unveil some of their mysteries.
More than 230 pictographs show the rock art of the original inhabitants of the island. These pictographs were made around 850 AD or perhaps earlier, according to the evidence of carbon-14.
In that cave No. 1, there are 213 of them. Experts believe they were created under the precepts of symbolism, perhaps with mythical or scientific roots, but unrelated to an aesthetic or decorative design.
Some experts have ventured the possibility that an aboriginal astronomical observatory was perhaps there, due to the message complexity attributable to the symbols represented, with concentric circles and the predominance of colors red and black.
We would have to determine who created them: representatives of traditional culture that inhabited Cuba or other civilizations of the continent. This is still pure speculation.
Everything could happen, if we consider they are located in a geographical point known in history as continental crossroads for adventurers and people of various origins.
Throughout the first half of the 20th century, these caves, five in total, showed a significant decline due to man action and negligence. The valuable pictographs are portrayed in its walls and ceilings, covered with soot from the kitchen, and the accumulation of bat guano.
Specialized intervention programs and cleaning were made in 1967 and 1969. These actions managed to restore old values, the best thing it could be made at that time according to the available resources.
There are studies of well-respected Cuban researchers with valuable conclusions about the place. All interested may try to learn.
With its amazing lineal, abstract and geometric drawings, the Caves of Punta del Este, Cuba is still today, a fascinating challenge to science and imagination.
Near a National Weather Station network and better shelter than in earlier times, the weird pictographs showing messages, some still to be deciphered.