Saturday, October 9, 2021

Kumeyaay Pictographs, Petroglyphs & More, by Don Liponi, Ph.D., Imperial Valley Historical Museum

 By Patricia Frischer

Don Liponi, Ph. D., Imperial Valley Historical Museum, member of the Kumeyaay Education Council and Instructor, Kumeyaay Internship Program was our guide and the photographer for a lecture on rock images. The spiritual communications of the Kumeyaay and Tipai Native Americans are recorded in their pictographs (mineral based paintings on rocks) and petroglyphs (carvings into the rocks). Even though many of these images have seemed to disappear, there is a new DStretch technology that makes it possible to see these works using your digital phone with a special app. 

There has been a cultural genocide of the Kumeyaay way of life but the prehistory and ancient history of the Tipai Shaman records a life harmoniously with nature. This tradition of ancient art is called La Rumorosa, after a site in northeastern Baja, Mexico. These photos record first some geometric shapes and the shape of a man, then a half man/half animal and animals that were guide for the Shamanistic hallucination travels and finally man transformed/ with geometric shapes.

I found these images so compelling and the idea of understanding more about native American Shaman fascinating. These seemingly very basic images which we think of as the foundation of primitive art, may after all be much more sophisticated and be a conduit to living a more wholistic and balanced life. This is just a taste of the lecture sponsored by Mira Costa’s LIFE so make sure and watch it for yourself as it is available until the end of the year. 

Don Liponi

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