Explore Rock Art By Style

Pecos River

2500 BCE to 1000 BCE

The Pecos River style may be the oldest extant body of pictographs in the New World and it is certainly one of the oldest religious art forms in the Americas. The claim for its origin in an animistic religion, commonly called shamanism, lies in its rigorously defined subject matter, the redundancy of its message, and the iconographic conventions employed to convey many of the basic precepts of shamanism as they are known ethnographically and in modern populations. Within a 90 mile radius of the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Pecos Rivers, over 300 paintings, made sometime between 3000 and 4000 years ago, present to their audience, then and now, a very specific public message about the mythic three-tiered universe and the spirit beings who populate it. Chief among their representations is the shaman who in an entranced state, has the power to transcend life—to die and be reborn—to assume the form of an animal familiar to fly, to swim and to climb to the spirit world where he and he alone could bargain for the fate of his people. These voyages were recorded for posterity on the limestone canvas of the canyon walls where they reified the role of the shaman as spiritual guardian of his people, curer of all ills, predicter of the future, and keeper of the past.


Ascending Shaman

LB (250)

Ascending Shaman

41VV888 (211)

Black Cave Pictographs

41VV76 (169)

Crab-Like Shaman

41VV50 (000)

Curly Tail Panther 1

41VV18 (109)

Curly Tail Panther 2

41VV18 (110)

Damaged Pictographs

41VV90 (184)

Damaging Mineral Accretions

41VV612 (140)

Decaying Pictographs

41VV39 (000)

Emerging Shaman

LB (254)

Entranced Shamans

41VV584 (208)

Entranced Shamans

41VV529 (210)

Entranced Shamans

LB (250)

Entranced Shamans

SV (236)

Flying Shaman

41VV1230 (230)

Flying Shaman

41VV83 (148)

Flying Shaman

SV (236)

Flying Shaman At Curly Tail

41VV18 (109)

Flying Shamans

41VV90 (181)

Flying Shamans With Guides

41VV74 (120)

Galloway White Shaman Preserve

41VV124

Grotesque At Panther Cave

41VV83 (141)

Guardian Shaman

41VV180 (156)

Guarding Panthers

41VV90 (182)

Leaping Panther

41VV612 (140)

Leaping Panthers

41VV234 (188)

Mystic Shelter Panthers

41VV612 (000)

Overpainting At Panther Cave

41VV83 (148)

Panther

41VV83 (148)

Panther

41VV73 (115)

Panther

41VV232 (232)

Panther Shaman

41VV83 (000)

Panther Shaman

41VV83 (152)

Panther Shaman

LB (251)

Panther Shaman

41VV1230 (230)

Rabbit & Snake Shamans

41VV180 (158)

Rabbit-Eared Shaman

41VV180 (155)

Rabbit-Eared Shaman

41VV180 (158)

Rabbit-Eared Shaman

41VV90 (180)

Rattlesnake Canyon

41VV180 (154)

Rattlesnake Canyon

41VV180 (158)

Rock Art At San Vicente

SV (236)

San Vicente

SV (236)

Serpent & Panther Shamans

41VV83 (143)

Serpent Shaman

Abrigo Diego 24 (000)

Shaman

41VV696 (105)

Shaman

41VV584 (207)

Shaman

41VV74 (114)

Shaman

41VV696 (105)

Shaman

41VV696 (105)

Shaman

SV (249)

Shaman At Fate Bell Shelter

41VV74 (111)

Shaman At Fate Bell Shelter

41VV74 (113)

Shaman At Halo Shelter

41VV1230 (230)

Shaman At Panther Cave

41VV83 (150)

Shaman With Bird On Arm 1

41VV329 (196)

Shaman With Bird On Arm 2

41VV696 (102)

Shaman With Radiant Hair

41VV83 (142)

Shamanic Initiation

41VV242 (234)

Shamans And Jackalope?

41VV1230 (229)

Shamans At Cedar Springs

41VV696 (101)

Shamans At Panther Cave

41VV83 (147)

Shamans At San Vicente

SV (236)

Two Rabbit-Eared Shamans

SV (248)

Two-Legged Box

41VV74 (121)

Vandalized Panthers

41VV234 (188)

White Shaman

41VV124 (164)

 

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