Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cueva Lucero

Cueva Lucero is a cave in the Juana Diaz area that is close to the road, well visited, and offers Taino petroglyphs and pictographs as well as a huge amount of graffiti. When we first entered it didn't seem like it would be that interesting for a few reasons: it was an easy saunter to get there, the cave was very small and didn't involve crawling or much mud, there was a lot of graffiti mixed in and over the interesting stuff. It is kind of like going to the Guanica Dry Forest - if you don't know anything about the plants there and their uniqueness it is a scrubby place that doesn't seem special at all! Luckily we had some avid caver friends with us who know what is what and who have some historical information to help us comprehend what we are looking at. This trip was done to try to document through photos, drawings and mapping the locations and designs of important petroglyphs and pictographs. The other people used rulers to show scale, or gave locations inside the cave as to where they were located and I just set out to record the images themselves.

When you slip through a hole into the cave you are really in a giant room where the top has fallen in. The area is bathed in light and the rock walls that get light have a green tinge to them. This opening above is huge and there are also little tube type "windows" up above. There are two main passages that lead to areas that have a lot of carvings in them. This petroglyph is inside the initial entry. It is believed the Taino slaves would escape to this cave to hang out I guess. They couldn't read or write so many of the designs are very simple. (I am trying to piece together information I heard, that I've read about, and if any one has good information for me I'd like to investigate these things further!)

There are mainly pictographs and some are very faint which is why we are documenting them. This one is obviously a bird, probably a heron, but some of the other designs are kind of odd looking and don't look like anything to me.

This could be a pelican.

These carvings are designs found elsewhere in the cave as well. Some designs are repeated in multiple places. I don't know if this is the sun god I've read about but the other design maybe is a butterfly?

The designs are all very simple. It is disappointing that there is so much graffiti covering things, but the graffiti also has a story to tell (that is another post).

These are probably turtles.

A centipede maybe?

Possibly a coqui? I guess it is natural to try to figure out what things "are." I don't know why I feel like I need to know but I do. Maybe there are clues as to what things were living here and what was important to the people. I would love to come here with an anthropologist!

These figures were in the main fallen-in-area. I have many more photos of different designs and a lot of historical graffiti that is interesting but you can't fit many images on a blog post so they'll have to wait! It was a small but interesting cave that when you start really seeing what is there becomes a very interesting cave. Every cave has a personality and this one is the first that seemed full of people!


Anonymous said...

WOW that is so cool. You are showing people a part of history that is not viewable to the public for the most part.

I think I have seen the pelican before or one similar to it, but the rest are all new to my eyes. Very nice.

esteban said...

Great Photos, The bird can also be a Yaboa Real eating something, another one with feathers on its head is at Plaza Caguana in Utuado. Perhaps what you saw as a sun god is really an ancestor image due to its interior design with triangules. What appears to be a centipede could also be a calendar to récord events I have other potos of the cave but were taken at a greater distance and show modern graffitti