Some of humanity’s oldest and newest storytelling techniques have been brought together through an innovative project in the Dominican Republic.
Having met in 2010 at an international conference on Ice Age rock art (covered here on NatGeo News Watch), experts in both ancient myths and modern digital photography teamed up this past January to catalog Caribbean cave art like never before.
Robert Mark and Evelyn Billo of Rupestrian CyberServices in Arizona proposed a project where they would use D-Stretch image enhancement and GigaPan panorama technology to help record the ancient rock art of the Dominican Republic. Daniel DuVall, himself a researcher and photographer of ancient art in the area, together with
While Billo’s use of D-Stretch as an attempt “
These involve descriptions of the ancient Taíno myth of Deminán Caracaracol, known from the work of early European chroniclers Fray Ramón Pané and Bartolomé de las Casas. They decipher ancient symbols of healing and childbirth, and reveal traditional cultural scenes, like a shaman inhaling cohoba, a native hallucinogenic agent.
This is the kind of information still available in many parts of the world from living cultures and forgotten historical documents, but which is virtually nonexistent in Europe where the cultural traditions that produced cave art have long since completely replaced and forgotten.
An Ancient Treasure Re-Gifted
The images themselves were made by Rupestrian CyberServices, and are being presented to the government free of charge, in the words of Evelyn Billo, “in hopes it might contribute to the appreciation and conservation of the cultural resources in the Dominican Republic.”
The complete Hoyo de Sanabe panorama and captions are viewable both on