an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

La Cueva de las Manos: 2010

photo of la cueva de las Manos

La Cueva de las Manos by Marcela K.

Graffiti? No—it’s 10,000-year-old art in a cave in Argentina. I get goosebumps when I look at the photos.

What an incredible signature to leave behind, it’s so joyful, as if these women and children are waving at us through all the millennia letting us know that things will at least turn out as they should. Life wasn’t easy that long ago, and if they could take the time to do this while hunting and gathering, we should hardly complain when we can’t get a signal for the cell phone.

No, I didn’t run off on a South American vacation! Marcela K., a tutor and translator in Buenos Aires, Argentina, commented on one of the photos on this blog. When someone visits me, I visit them, and on scrolling through her blog I saw these photos and read her narrative of her trip to this place. We were right in the middle of our big snowstorms, but her photos and description of walking through the parched, arid region to get to this cave took me away from all that.

Then I saw this photo and read about the hands. I’ll let her take it from there on her blog, Marcela in English, in 729 Hands Painted. She describes the landscape, the history, and how the hands were painted, plus other paintings in the caves. Below, she sent along another photo that isn’t in her photo essay. The hands look like children’s hands.

photo of cave of painted hands

One more photo of the painted hands by Marcela K.

And while you are there, Marcela recommends other photo narratives of other sites in Argentina she’s visited. From deserts to glaciers to a rose garden in the city—I had no idea Argentina was so diverse in regional weather. She also has an entry about the Chilean earthquake since they two countries are right next to each other.

Perito Moreno Glacier, Santa Cruz

Rosedal in Buenos Aires (a park full of roses in my city)

Quebrada de Humahuaca, Jujy (Part 1)

Quebrada de Humahuaca, Jujuy (Part 2)

So as we head into what may be a long, cool, wet spring, enjoy a little vacation in Argentina, compliments of Marcela.

2 responses

  1. Goosebumps indeed. That is way cool. It makes me wonder what they drew it for. I recently commented on another blog for a similar shot and explained how one of the theories is that they used cave drawings or drawings such as this to teach their children.

    March 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    • I’ll bet it was a teaching tool, how to use dyes and other natural materials and so on, but I wonder if they had any idea how long their prints would last? And what they would think of us?

      March 23, 2012 at 6:38 pm

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