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Revista Uruguaya de Antropología y Etnografía

Print version ISSN 2393-7068On-line version ISSN 2393-6886


SCHNEIER, Patricia; PONCE, Agustina  and  ASCHERO, Carlos. Rock art (cave painting), Ethnography and collective memory. Case of study: Cueva de las manos, Patagonia, Argentina. Rev. urug. Antropología y Etnografía [online]. 2021, vol.6, n.1, pp.71-85.  Epub June 01, 2021. ISSN 2393-7068.

Cueva de las Manos, situated in Patagonia, Argentina, is an emblematic site declared World Heritage by UNESCO. The site holds a large amount of rock art panels that were created in different time periods between 9400 and 2500 years ago. From the vast range of figures and scenes represented in the cave walls, we have selected two themes for this study. These are the scenes depicting hunting activities and pregnant guanacos, which are set in relation to hand negatives stenciled on the wall. Based on ethnographic records documenting mythical narratives of the Tehuelche people, as well as the chronicles and diaries of travelers who visited the area, we propose certain guidelines for the interpretation of the art panels, created thousands of years ago. This gives us an opportunity to reflect on the benefits provided by historical analogies in an effort to set the ground for an “anthropological archaeology” and the construction of a collective memory.

Keywords : Rock art; historical analogy; collective memory; Cueva de las Manos; Patagonia.

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