I gave this presentation at Rock Art 2010 Nov 6, 2010 in San Diego and at Balances XI Nov 7, 2010 in Ensenada.
I want to give special thanks to Lucero Gutiérrez for arranging our trips and accompanying myself and my wife Sheila on visits to the Great Mural sites in the Sierra Guadalupe.
The Great Mural Tradition is found mainly in the Sierra de San Francisco and Sierra de Guadalupe in Baja California Sur. Crosby was unsure in which sierra the tradition started.
This is the entrance to Cueva San Borjitas. Our guides on this visit in January 2010 were Maria Eugenia Flores and her son Chino Gorosave.
The observations in this talk were already known by Dahlgren and Grant. This talk reiterates them and uses them to infer the origins of the art.
Diguet was a chemist at the Boleo mining company in Santa Rosalia who later led scientific expeditions on the Peninsula. The photographs in this slide are from Grant's reprint of Diguet's monograph.
Dahlgren and Jordan married and had two children. Jordan died in 1956. I received the photo of Dahlgren from Lucero Gutiérrez. The date in the caption of the Jordan photo is wrong, it should be 1951.
Dahlgren's drawing is pretty good, but she did not draw the figures in the left rear of the cave. She went on to a long career in anthropology in Mexico and died in 2002.
Grant's book may not have gotten the attention it deserved since Crosby's book came out the next year.
Grant' drawing is very good, but of course he did not have the advantage of DStretch. I will use it as an index in later slides to show photo locations.
Compared to Dahlgren and Grant Crosby has by far the most knowledge of Great Mural sites. He has visited dozens of sites in the Sierra de San Francisco and Guadalupe. Crosby did not categorize the figures at San Borjitas into distinct styles.
I hope this tour will engender an appreciation for the marvelous art on the ceiling. The photos on the tour were taken on a visit in May 2010.
I will follow each photo with a DStretch LDS enhancement. This helps demonstrate the large variety of colors used in San Borjitas and shows details not otherwise visible.
The yellow figure on the right was missing from all previous drawings, but becomes visible through the magic of DStretch.
Back to the left side.
Dahlgren called the fish a tintorera (shark).
This photo includes the area shown in one of Diguet's drawings.
Dahlgren called the white figure "El Muerto".
This is another part of the cave that Diguet drew. Diguet thought the ceiling might depict a combat field strewn with the vanquished.
Left and down. Note the mother/son pair.
Moving down. Another mother/son pair.
Left side. Lucero Gutiérrez calls the figure with the white hair "el poderoso anciano".
End of the tour.
In one area where a younger figure crosses an older one, the older one was retouched. I have for many years contended that overlap had meaning to the painters.
Following Dahlgren I will use the term bicolor for figures that are red and black or all red or all black. Their defining characteristic is the use of flat color for fill.
The circles mark the figures I consider to be older. They are scarecrows, cardons, polka dots, and some eccentrics.
"El Coyote" is an eccentric, named by Dahlgren for its large ears (really a headdress). The cardon is named after the cactus. Note the bulging body with vertical lines.
"El Coyote" has polka dot fill and is clearly older than the cardon. Scarecrows are characterized by straight arms and elliptical heads. The scarecrow may be younger than the cardon, violating Dahlgren's sequence.
The upper figure was not named by Dahlgren. I call it a polka dot. Because of the polka dots and curious head with ears I don't feel this figure belongs with the bicolors.
Like "El Coyote" this polka dot is older than the scarecrow.
Poorly preserved "Arms Down" is one of Dahlgren's eccentrics and is the only such figure in the cave.
"Arms Down" is older than the horizontal scarecrow which is older than the large vertical bicolor.
This enhancement shows details of the red body of the scarecrow.
This enhancement shows in dark brown the yellow paint used in the scarecrow's legs and side.
This is a densely painted part of the cave. We will use DStretch to clarify the composition.
DStretch shows two yellow scarecrows flanking a polka dot. All are under a large horizontal bicolor with huge headdress.
This enhancement shows in dark brown the yellow paint used in the scarecrows.
Here a bicolor almost completely covers a scarecrow. Only the scarecrows head and arms can be seen.
Enhancement shows the headdress on the bicolor on top of the scarecrow's head and arm.
Here we can see the details of the yellow paint in the scarecrow.
Not much overlap here, but I want to show this cardon, one of the famous figures in San Borjitas.
Dahlgren did not consider "El Cuadriculado" to be a scarecrow because of the squarish head.
"El Cuadriculado" is older than the bicolors to the right and left.
Green dots mark the younger figures. The bicolors can be all red, all black or red/black. Notice the older cardon peaking out from behind a bicolor.
An all black bicolor. Its arm is over a cardon. Ita foot is under the red/black bicolor.
We have seen that the large bicolor at left center is over a scarecrow. The figure to the right has red lines for the head fill.
The red/black figure on the right also has red lines rather than fill. I include it and the previous as bicolors since Grant and Dahlgren did.
This is a montage of bicolors from San Borjitas.
These are photos from sites in the Sierra de San Francisco.
Here in one slide is a comparison of photos from San Borjitas with photos from the Sierra de San Francisco, San Juan, San Borja.
My guess is the spread to the north may have been by movement of people since there seems to be a lack of older painting there. End of presentation.