A picture or an image can tell a tale of a thousand words. The prolific markings found from our distant ancestors sing stories of thousands of years. Imagining a time before modern amenities will lead us down the path to a simpler era. Caves made a perfect setting for the time period as they were protective and lasting through any weather or circumstance. Hundreds of displays of Cave Art exist around the world. One of the most famous and visited Caves is located within the hidden shadows of Patagonia, Argentina.
In the early days, the events of the sunrise and sunset were accompanied by a celebration of nature. The moon provided light at night and a fire brought warmth. Life was earned by hand and built from strength with instinct and logic moving mankind forward through the ages. We have had a first- hand view of this progression with the Art that was left behind so long ago. Mostly found on large walls that were used as canvasses, the illustrative pictures are entwined with rituals, beliefs and accounts of the days that went by.
The Ingenious Cave of Hands
Nestled out of sight in Patagonia, Argentina lies a small Cave that has preserved history for thirteen thousand years. The resourceful groups and tribes used their surroundings to live and survive. Clay, Manganese and Iron Oxide give Cave drawings the unique color we see. The use of earthy bindings were utilized to generate a lasting imprint. There are three mainstream cultures associated with Cave drawings. The use of stencils falls into the second around the guesstimated years of 7000 BC.
A two hour walk will bring you to the Cave of Hands where you will see evidence of earlier cultures that is believed to have stayed in the region for at least 4,000 years. You will see brilliant hues of purple, green and blue. The ceiling and walls are distinctly lines with stenciled handprints that are thought to be of all genders, ages and sizes. Research has shown us this may have been a part of initiations, rituals and even funeral customs. There are hundreds of handprints that are interestingly of the left hand. Only a few resemble the reflection of a right hand which could have been a significant factor for them.
More Than Meets the Hands
Among the Hands, there is a lining of pictorial markings to be seen. The people were hunters and gatherers who were still trying to understand the world around them. Animals played a large role in their ability to survive. This is shown in the diary on the wall as they made plans, shared triumphant moments and the pitfalls that ensnared them. Aside from the beauty of the imagery, there is an exploration of the past. It is intriguing to see the Cave of Hands in person and remember the lives of those who stood in the very place of visitors today.