Hueco Tanks

Rock Paintings

brochure Hueco Tanks - Rock Paintings

Brochure about Rock Paintings at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site (SP) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM R O C K Page A P A I N T I N G S AT HUECO TANKS STATE HISTORIC SITE by Kay Sutherland, Ph.D. PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page B Mescalero Apache design, circa 1800 A.D., part of a rock painting depicting white dancing figures. Unless otherwise indicated, the illustrations are photographs of watercolors by Forrest Kirkland, reproduced courtesy of Texas Memorial Museum. The watercolors were photographed by Rod Florence. Editor: Georg Zappler Art Direction: Pris Martin PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page C ROCK PAINTINGS AT H U E C O TA N K S S TAT E H I S T O R I C S I T E by Kay Sutherland, Ph.D. Watercolors by Forrest Kirkland Dedicated to Forrest and Lula Kirkland PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 1 I N T R O D U C T I O N The rock paintings at Hueco Tanks State Historic Site are the impressive artistic legacy of the different prehistoric peoples who found water, shelter and food at this stone oasis in the desert. Over 3000 paintings depict religious masks, caricature faces, complex geometric designs, dancing figures, people with elaborate headdresses, birds, jaguars, deer and symbols of rain, lightning and corn. Hidden within shelters, crevices and caves among the three massive outcrops of boulders found in the park, the art work is rich in symbolism and is a visual testament to the importance of graphic expression for the people who lived and visited the area. The impressive outdoor art gallery, accumulated over the course of thousands of years, belongs to all of us and is a reminder of our connection to the art of ancient peoples. The oldest rock paintings found here were done by early gatherers and hunters, termed Archaic Indians. Later, an agricultural people (archaeologists call them the “Jornada Mogollon”) lived in small villages or pueblos at and near Hueco Tanks and painted on the rock-shelter walls. Still later, the Mescalero Apaches and possibly other Plains Indian groups painted pictures of their rituals and depicted their contact with Spaniards, Mexicans and Anglos. The European newcomers and settlers left no pictures, but some chose instead to record their names with dates on the rock walls, perhaps as a sign of the importance of the individual in western cultures. Hueco Tanks is no ordinary stopping place. The niches, shelters and caves were places of religious ceremony for Native Americans, from remote prehistoric times until the late 19th century. The Indians filled the hidden and secret places with sacred paintings representing their beliefs and the world around them. Walking among the rocks, climbing the boulders or discovering a hidden niche is the best way to understand what the ancient Indians felt when they 1 PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 2 came to Hueco Tanks – a place to which their descendants still come to perform religious ceremonies. Hueco Tanks is a distinctive and striking remnant of a dome of uplifted molten rock (technically called syenite) that cooled about 30 million years ago before it ever reached the surface. Weathering and erosion exposed and sculpted the present rock masses which, as a result, are heavily fractured and recessed with hollows that trap and contain water, attracting animals and humans. These hollows are called “huecos” in Spanish, hence the name Hueco Tanks. Because of available water, stands of juniper and oak, widespread at the end of the last Ice Age, survive here as small relict populations. The surrounding desert, before modernization and overgrazing, was a semi-arid grassland inviting to deer and antelopes. Humans have been coming here for close to 11,000 years, drawn above all else by the water, along with animals to hunt and plants to use. Overview of Hueco Tanks. Rising precipitously to a maximum height of almost 450 feet above the surrounding desert floor, three massive outthrusts form a sacred trinity of cathedrals beckoning the desert pilgrim. A water-filled hueco. Over thirty million years ago, molten rocks from an underground volcano almost, but not quite, came to the surface. Weathering and erosion exposed and sculpted the present fractured and hollowed-out rock masses. The depressions became the water-filled “huecos” (Spanish for “hollows”) for which the site is named. (Photo by Anna Toness Blubaugh) 2 PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 3 T E C H N I C A L A N D H I S T O R I C A L B A C K G R O U N D Two important terms: Pictograph – an ancient painting or drawing on a rock wall, usually within a shelter. Colors used at Hueco Tanks are often red, black, yellow and white, and sometimes green and blue. yolk, plant juices and animal fats. Paints were applied with brushes made from yucca or human hair, or by blowing pigments from reed or bone tubes; finger painting was also employed. Petroglyph – a carving etched or pecked on a rock surface that is usually weathered or patinated later, creating a contrast in coloration. Red-and-green mask (see back cover for actual colors). This is the only example of green pigment (possibly turquoise) at Hueco Tanks. The star eyes are similar to the Star Katchina among the Hopi. This mask is above eye level and not easily noticeable. (Photo by Anna Toness Blubaugh) What was used for paint? Colors for painting came from available minerals. Hematite and limonite, for example, furnished red hues. Various shades of ochre produced red and yellow; carbon and manganese were used for black; white clay and gypsum yielded white; while oxides of copper furnished green and blue. The mineral hues may have been enhanced with vegetable dyes and binders – most likely, urine, egg Lumps of prepared color have been found in shelters, along with “paint pots” – small indentations in stone that were used to mix the colors. (In Europe, tubes made of hollow bone and filled with color have been found at cave-art sites.) Although as many different colors were used 3 PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 4 in Texas as in polychromatic European rock art, individual pictures using only one color are more common here than in the Old World. That is not to say that polychrome painting is not well developed in Texas – witness, for example, the many varicolored pictographs found in caves along the Lower Pecos and adjoining drainages. Why do the pictographs last so long? Rock paintings bind to rock through a process of aging. An experiment done at Hueco Tanks State Historic Site to determine at what point a painting binds to rock found that spray-painted graffiti binds after two years, and that it cannot be removed without removing some of the underlying surface. (Thus, if graffiti more than two years old overlies a pictograph, removal of the unwanted markings unfortunately also entails destruction of the rock art.) This binding of the paint is due to a weathering process that deposits a microscopic mineral glaze over the pigmented area. 4 The different groups of indigenous inhabitants of Hueco Tanks rarely painted over each other’s painting, perhaps out of respect for the existing message. Modern “artists” have not been so respectful and, disgracefully, their names can be found spraypainted over many of the more exposed Indian paintings. Because of remote location, most pictographs and petroglyphs were, until a few years ago, still in excellent condition, despite weathering. Unfortunately, vandalism has now begun to take a serious toll in even the more remote sites. The First Scientific Recording of the Rock Art at Hueco Tanks On July 1939, in the heat of summer and with storm clouds gathering overhead, Forrest and Lula Kirkland arrived at Hueco Tanks to record the rock art. It was the last field trip Forrest was fated to make. (A year later he died of a heart attack at the age of 49.) Forrest was a commercial artist, who had discovered and fallen in love with rock art at a PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 5 time when few people in Texas knew or cared anything about the subject. Lula, his wife, photographed and searched, while Forrest quickly and adeptly copied the images in watercolor. Lula was impressed with this “veritable oasis in the desert.” She wrote in her journal, “These huge piles of rocks catch rain water in holes or crevices called tanks and keep it there clean and sweet for many months after the rain.” At that time, Hueco Tanks was owned by Jesus Escontrias who charged people to picnic there. One of the first places the Kirklands found was “Comanche Cave” which, Lula wrote in 1939, “was like walking into an airconditioned building from a hot street with temperature over one hundred. The air that greeted us was icy cool and so refreshing. On a huge rock up near the top of the cave, a huge slanting crack in the rocks, was one large rock on which someone had printed, no one knows how many years ago, the sign ‘Watter Hear’ and underneath through a gap about four feet wide was a huge cistern of water, ice cold. (The story goes that it has never gone dry.) The slanting rock leading up to the cistern was polished to a glassy surface by the many feet, Indian and white, that had gone up for water. Reclining on the cool rock with the cool air coming from the cave was a delightful experience after our climbing over the hot rocks looking for pictures, and over our heads on the top ceiling of the shelter the Indians had painted pictographs.” Lula continued, “Comanche Cave is cold and so the Indians had air-conditioned dwelling places in the middle of the desert before white men came to their country.” As a visitor to Hueco Tanks, you can go to Comanche Cave and enjoy the same refreshing feeling the Kirklands did in 1939. When you near the cave, you will notice a panel of what appear to be dancers, painted in white (see page 23). The men are playing instruments, someone is riding a horse, a man is chasing a girl, and the dancers are in a row. This is a historic painting of what is most likely a Mescalero Apache victory dance. It was probably painted some time 5 PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 6 between 1820 and 1840 when Mescaleros raided extensively in the area. Someone has painted “1849” over some of the pictographs, the earliest Anglo date at Hueco Tanks. The cool water cistern marked “Watter Hear,” where Lula Kirkland got water for her canteen, is still there. Even more remarkable than Forrest Kirkland’s accuracy in copying the rock art was his Cave Kiva. This hidden shelter represents the pinnacle of painting, with its clear stencil-like paintings consciously placed in an undulating row. The eight masks are as bright as the day they were painted. Unfortunately, in 1993, an irresponsible vandal painted his name over the masks, causing Hueco Tanks to be put under greater protection. (Photo by Gary Duff) 6 speed. In ten days, he, with Lula acting as locator for the rock art, painted 27 plates, including 89 masks (of the more than 200 now-known masks at Hueco Tanks). A survey in 1974 (35 years later) by the El Paso Archaeological Society found Kirkland’s renderings remarkably accurate. The original Kirkland watercolors are stored at Texas Memorial Museum in Austin, along with his other artwork. PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 7 T H E F I R S T O F H U E C O The earliest clue that humans were present at Hueco Tanks is a characteristic chipped stone spearpoint called a Folsom point, after a site in New Mexico where it was first identified. Such projectile points are relatively common throughout the Southwest where they are frequently associated with mammoth and giant bison bones dated to between 8,000 and 9,000 B.C. (or 10,000 to 11,000 years ago). P E O P L E T A N K S None of the rock art at Hueco Tanks can be attributed to the Folsom hunters. However, some abstract designs on rock surfaces in the nearby Franklin Mountains are thought to have been made by Paleo-Indians, mostly because the designs are overpainted by artwork characteristic of the Archaic tradition which occurred several thousand years later. The members of the Folsom culture were Paleo-Indians, that is to say they belonged to the Ice Age peoples that spread across North and South America after crossing the then Bering land bridge between Siberia and Alaska at least 12,000 years and possibly as long as 40,000 years ago. PaleoIndians depended on and followed the vast numbers of big mammals, such as mammoths, mastodons, giant bison, camels, ground sloths and horses, that browsed and grazed the forests and savannahs below the ice sheets blanketing the northern half of our continent. Folsom Point. This type of spearpoint has been found at Hueco Tanks. Folsom points were made by PaleoIndians until about 10,000 years ago. The points are found throughout the Southwest, often in association with an extinct form of long-horned bison. 7 PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco T H E 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 8 A R C H A I C I N D I A N S 6000 B.C. UNTIL 450 A.D. Eventually, the plentiful bounty of large game diminished, probably from a combination of changing climate and overkill by humans. The Southwest was drying up as the great ice caps were retreating northward. By 8,000 years ago (6,000 B.C.), mastodons, mammoths, sloths, horses, camels and other large animals were extinct. With the disappearance of the large Ice Age mammals, the human populations that lived after the Paleo-Indians depended more on hunting smaller game, such as bighorn sheep, deer, antelopes, rabbits and rodents. In addition, these people followed an endless cycle of collecting and processing seasonal grains, nuts, fruits and tubers. At Hueco Tanks, they relied heavily on wild plant foods such as mesquite beans, the fruit of the banana yucca and the abundant cacti found in the area. These nomadic foragers are termed Archaic Indians and they are believed to have lived in extended family groups of 25 to 30 people. The Archaic way of life was deeply rooted in the desert environment and remarkably uniform in its cultural and artistic artifacts. The rich artistic tradition associated with this culture extended throughout the desert Southwest to California. We can identify at least two kinds of artistic styles among the Archaic nomads, both of which can be seen at Hueco Tanks. The Early Archaic Style (6000 B.C. – 3000 B.C.) consists of curvilinear and rectilinear abstract designs, such as “comb” designs and parallel wavy lines. It is hard to guess the meanings of these drawings. There are no animal or human depictions in this earlier style. Early Archaic style. Abstract polychrome (mostly red) designs are a diagnostic feature. Animals and humans are absent. 8 PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 9 Certain Archaic groups, down through the millennia, added to the earlier abstract art. This later art, belonging to what is called the Middle and Late Archaic Style (3000 B.C. – 450 A.D.), is characterized by hunting scenes, with animals such as mountain sheep or deer, and humans with headdresses who have shaman-like qualities. The Archaic nomads did not use the bow and arrow. They hunted only with a spear and atlatl (spear thrower). We find specific spearpoints, such as the Shumla, associated with these drawings. inanimate. The art of the Middle and Late Archaic depicted the supernatural power of the horned animals that were hunted and that were associated with the concept of abundance. We find a progressive humanization of the projectile points to the extent that hunters have projectile-point heads and arms. The association of hunter with spearpoint implies a strong spiritual relationship between the killer and the killed. The hunter’s Middle/Late Archaic style. The topmost “shaman” (human-like) figure with running animals is similar to larger such figures in what is called the Lower Pecos art style. These designs are in yellow. The artwork shows animals on the run and humans standing still. The hunters have thick hourglass shaped bodies with thin arms and legs and a small-to-non-existent head, which has two horns or feathers attached. In some cases, a spearpoint is attached to the arm of the hunter. Hueco Tanks State Historic Site does not have many Archaic hunting scenes, but nearby sites, such as Alamo Canyon at Fort Hancock, have hundreds of petroglyphs depicting hunting activities. Red mountain sheep, deer and horned human figures resembling spearpoints. The prehistoric desert foragers are thought to have been animists who believed in the aliveness and value of all of nature, both animate and 9 PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 10 power to take animal life in order that people may live can be seen as a transformation of the hunter’s kill into food for the group. This metamorphosis from death to life was probably the focus of Archaic religions. The spiritual counterpart of this physical process – the transference of the animal’s spirit to the human’s – was accomplished by skilled and sensitive individuals, called shamans, who had access to the animal spirit world through trance and dreaming. Both the skilled hunter and the skilled shaman faced the possibility of “dying” in order that others might live. The hunter faced the possibility of death in order to kill, and the shaman’s body “died” (went into trance) so that the animal spirit could be brought to the group. Middle/Late Archaic style. A hunter with arm as a spear extension symbolized the power to kill. A Shumla point. This is a triangular spearpoint commonly found in the Lower Pecos area. It resembles the one shown in the rock painting. Projectile points and Archaic hunters from Fort Hancock, Texas. The distinction between hunter and projectile point is blurred when body parts are replaced by projectile points: hunters with projectile-point bodies, projectilepoint headdresses, and arms with projectile points. The hunter’s body looks so much like a spearpoint that it is often hard to tell the difference between the hunter and the point. The association of hunter with spearpoint strongly implies a powerful spiritual relationship between the killer and the killed. Some good examples of this hunting-oriented shamanistic art can be found in Utah, California and the lower Pecos River in Texas (Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site near Comstock, Texas has some fine examples of Lower Pecos cave art.) 10 PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco T H E 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 11 A G R I C U L T U R I S T S THE JORNADA BRANCH OF THE MOGOLLON — 450 A.D. – 1400 A.D. Evidence from central Mexico suggests that corn was fully domesticated between 5000 B.C. and 3400 B.C. Such domestication entailed a long period of experimentation and mutation and eventually a conscious selection by humans that improved certain species of wild grasses. Domesticated corn along with beans, chili peppers, squash and cotton spread north from the Valley of Mexico, reaching the El Paso area by 2000 B.C. It took almost two thousand years to achieve a balance between gathering, hunting and planting as a means of existence in the arid Southwest, as Mogollon farmers learned to adapt planting to erratic rainfall, consisting of long periods of drought followed by sudden downpours that wiped out crops and carved new arroyos. similar to that of the Apache Indians in the nineteenth century who planted corn, left it unattended, and returned to see if there was anything growing. Corn supplemented their traditional wild plant diet, it did not replace it. In a good year of rain, there was a surplus, but it was not reliable. The early Mogollon people were probably similar in their habits; they planted corn but then they might move away. The unpredictability of localized food supplies in the desert environment made commitment to A jaguar figure next to a solid mask with an antelope-horn headdress shows Mesoamerican influence. Colors used are red, black and white. In the Southwest, corn could never be the secure food supply that it was in the lake-filled valley of Mexico or the rain-heavy tropical jungles further south. Initially, the approach to corn might have been 11 PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 12 settled life difficult. Not until about 200 A.D. (to judge from the evidence of pithouses) did permanent residences become established in the area. Quetzalcoatl mask with plumed serpent on top showing jaguar teeth. This headdress is similar to one at Fort Hancock, Texas. Note the conical helmet, an attribute of Quetzalcoatl, with “step-fret” designs. Thus, beginning in the early centuries A.D., with crude dwellings and small-scale corn cultivation, the first agriculturists who lived in this area developed lifestyles not unlike Pueblo peoples today, such as the Hopi, Zuni and the people of the upper Rio Grande pueblos. As corn yields were improved, more people could be fed and the population grew and began to concentrate into villages. (There is archaeological evidence of a small village at Hueco Tanks State Historic Site around 1000 A.D.) (Drawing by Dave Parker) Cave of the Masks. The paired paintings show strong Mesoamerican influence as indicated by the presence of the conical helmet that symbolizes Quetzalcoatl, the plumed serpent. Sometime around 450 A.D. (at the beginning of what is called the Jornada Mogollon Tradition), a strong religious influence diffused to this region from Mesoamerica (Mexico and Central America), possibly through merchant traders searching for precious turquoise. They were followers of the cult of Quetzalcoatl, one of the most important deities of Meso-american cultures. Quetzalcoatl took the form (Photo by Anna Toness Blubaugh) 12 PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 13 of a plumed serpent and incorporated the characteristics of a bird, serpent and jaguar, all of which were associated with the priesthood and ruling class as far back as 1500 B.C. in Mesoamerica. Quetzalcoatl represented a moving energy that unified a dualistic universe, but the deity also incorporated the concept of regeneration, crucial to the Mesoamerican vision of the cosmos. Pairs are frequently depicted in Jornada Mogollon art, representing the dualistic nature of the Mesoamerican universe. Equal in influence to Quetzalcoatl was Tlaloc, a rain deity who was both beneficial and destructive, and who was associated with sacred mountains. Tlaloc was characterized by goggle eyes and a blunt, rectilinear body with no arms or legs. The Tlaloc figure fused with the trapezoidal spearpoint-shaped body of Archaic hunter art, a natural fusion because both concepts were associated with masculine forces (hunting and the destructive part of rain). Along with examples of Quetzalcoatl and Tlaloc at Hueco Tanks, there are many symbols associated with water, crucial to planting corn in the desert. Also at the Cave of the Masks is a painting of a jaguar with a conical helmet. An association of the jaguar with Quetzalcoatl can be traced back to the Olmecs, one of the earliest (about 1500 B.C.) of the Mesoamerican civilizations. (Drawing by Dave Parker) Shown here is the geometric figure of goggle-eyed Tlaloc. Associated with Tlaloc are “step-fret” designs and symbols of rain and abundance, including a turtle, a rain altar, a solid mask and a mountain sheep. Black, red, white and yellow were the colors used. (Drawings from (left to right) Alamo Canyon, Lucero Canyon, Alamo Mt. and Smith Ranch.) 13 The projectile-point body merges into a goggle-eyed anthropomorph. The increasing “personification” of the projectile-point hunter to the more humanized Tlaloc with its goggle eyes, and the eventual evolution into stylized masked spirits demonstrates a transition of religious thought: the idea that spirits can take human form rather than the ancient animistic belief that humans take animal form. PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 14 The most common of these are the “step-fret” or “step wedge” designs representing flowing water, energy and lightning. This large (two-meter-long) black-andwhite Tlaloc figure is on the ceiling of a low shelter. Lying on a rock, you can look up and see the blank, skull-like goggle eyes staring down, surrounded by smaller Tlaloc figures. The main Tlaloc figure has step-fret designs coming from the head and a flattened snout. The art work is so complex that it forms a continuous line. Most of the rock paintings at Hueco Tanks were drawn by settled agriculturists of the Jornada Mogollon Tradition. As mentioned, the religion of these people centered around the desire for and control of rain essential to the growth of crops. One can see water symbolism in many paintings, such as the rain altar, which consist of two lightning symbols coming together and the step-fret designs on the Tlaloc figures. Representations of this deity show the dualism of celestial abundance, represented by water from the sky, and terrestrial abundance, represented by water stored underground. (Photo by Anna Toness Blubaugh) Two Tlaloc figures in red with “blanket design” bodies and two solid masks. The characteristic blank goggle eyes in both suggest a close relationship between Tlaloc and the “solid” style of mask with blank eyes. It appears that, at Hueco Tanks, Mesoamerican gods, many of whom manifested different aspects of the same elements, combined with the earlier animistic concepts of the desert Archaic peoples to create a new religious force, manifesting itself in a religion of masked spirit beings. 14 PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 15 For, besides the Quetzalcoatl and Tlaloc figures and the water symbols, the Jornada Mogollon peoples left a tremendous artistic legacy of painted masks. These represented their ancestral spirits, as do the katchinas of today’s Pueblo peoples, such as the Hopi and Zuni. The largest concentration of Indian painted masks in North America (more than 200) is at Hueco Tanks State Historic Site. These masks are significant because their designs and the religion they represent influenced the rest of Southwestern art. The pueblo designs that are so familiar to us were, perhaps, first seen in the Southwest at Hueco Tanks. And, like the Pueblo designs characteristic of the Katchina Cult, the Hueco Tanks masks are representative of the fusion that occurred between Archaic animism and Mesoamerican polytheism. A Tlaloc figure with footprints on the face, a symbolic association found in Mesoamerica. A Tlaloc figure with step-fret designs representing lightning. “White-blanket” designs still seen in southwestern art today. This panel is completely blackened with soot. To elaborate further: the meaning of the mask for the prehistoric Mogollon must have been similar to its meaning to the present-day Hopi and Zuni in their katchina dances. More than any other part of our body, the face is the gateway to abstract thought. In putting on the mask, the masked dancer becomes 15 PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 16 the intermediary between the human world and the spiritual world. Frank Water in his Book of the Hopi says that when the dancer puts on the mask, he becomes the ancestral katchina spirit. The masked katchina dancer, like the shaman, experiences transformation, “for he too is a god.” Unlike the shaman, however, the katchina dancer sublimates his individuality into the “selfless and fleshless communion” of a communally believed creation, not an individually interpreted religious experience. Like the shaman, the dancer is “part bird, part beast, part man” who “wings into the sky” during the dancing, vulnerable, “naked and defenseless.” In this sense the dancer is an extension of the shamanistic experience, but the katchina dancer’s religious experience – unlike the shaman’s – is induced by communal dancing. The masks represent the central role of the human in bringing opposing forces into harmony. Thus did the communal, polytheistic religions of Mesoamerica combine with the shamanistic-animistic beliefs of the Archaic huntergatherers to create the new religion of the Southwest – the Katchina Dancing figures with masks appear in many of the rock art compositions at Hueco Tanks. This is a selection put together by Kirkland. The figures are early indications of what would become the Katchina Cult among present-day Pueblo groups. Masked dancer. This figure clearly shows the use of masks during ritual dances. 16 PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 17 Cult. This cult is expressed at Hueco Tanks in the many masks painted on its rock surfaces. Dancers with mountain-sheep headdress are similar to Mountain Sheep Katchina among present-day Pueblos. This ritual shows a combination of hunting and agricultural beliefs. The fundamental appeal of the Mesoamerican cosmovision was the idea of man’s ability to predict (through scientific understanding of the movement of the sun and Venus) and to that extent control rain and plant growth. The evolution of the spearpoint hunter to Tlaloc the rain god is a visual turning point that cannot have expressed more clearly man’s godlike ability to destroy. The Mesoamerican-derived masked spirit cult espoused man’s central role in the continuance of the cosmos. The Mogollon accepted a central role for the human in the cosmic scheme, but the myths and ceremonies that accompanied planting were downscaled for desert adaptation and then incorporated into the existing religion of the desert foragers. Two solid red masks in hidden niches are painted to the curve of the wall. Solid red mask with blank eyes, similar to Tlaloc. (Photo by Kay Sutherland) The mask became the symbol for the intermediary role humans played. Before the masked dancer could put on the mask, he had to go through a purification process. Once the dancer put on the mask, 17 PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 18 he became the katchina spirit, acting as an intermediary with the ancestral world of “cloud people” who helped to bring rain. All of the contemporary katchina dances of the Hopi and Zuni today are performed to bring rain and balance to the community. White horned dancer with mask-type face and goggle eyes. The horned dancer is specific to the Jornada Mogollon. (Horned masks are not found in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.) The horns are an indication of the combination of hunting symbolism with Mesoamerican-derived masks. (Photo by Anna Toness Blubaugh) In hunting cultures, the hunter accommodates himself to the movement of the animal. In planting cultures, the plant doesn’t move; it is the rain that moves; humans must accommodate themselves to the larger forces of nature Plate of outline masks. Diagnostic features of Jornada Mogollon outline masks are the almond-shaped eyes and wedge-shaped nose. Outline mask with expressive face. Lighting design on one cheek; rain altar on the other. (Photo by Kay Sutherland) 18 PWD BK P4501-095E Hueco 6/22/06 9:06 AM Page 19 (storm, wind, rain). Destructive elements are stronger, larger, more unpredictable and seemingly more controllable than animals. In hunting cultures, the individual hunter or shaman confronts the animal. A planter can’t “identify” with a storm nor can he “be” the rain in the same way that the shaman can become the animal spirit. But a planter, like a shaman, can go into “dance” and “transform” himself into that which controls plant growth through the wearing, of the mask. The masked dancers’ cult of the agricultural Mogollon was a Plate of solid masks. These are distinguished from outline masks by not having the face outlined and by the use of solid, separated blocks of color. Solid masks are only found hidden in niches, suggesting that they are more sacred than outline masks which are located on exposed surfaces. Hueco Tanks may have been a sacred center for the Jornada Mogollon, since solid masks are rarely found anywhere else. In this groupin

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