Los Letreros Caves
A recent guest is studying to be a Shaman, and so I suggested we visit the Cueva de Los Letreros near Velez Blanco. This area has some of the few water sources in the region and was the reason the rock arch was important in Neolithic times. The rock arch where the cave paintings are situated was the domain of the Shaman. The Shaman was a woman and her geneological tree is shown in the paintings, along with Indalo Man, various animals and fertility symbols. The guide is a modern day Shaman and is full of excellent information about the meanings of the art. All the paintings and symbols are in red. The paint was a mixture of iron ore, fat and blood. Two Shaman figures can be seen with horns, a scythe and heart, there are also symbols of water, lightning and the ’tierra’. The Shaman would have blessed the hunters and sacrificed goats to ensure fertility. Some 25 groups of people lived in the vicinity, these hunter-gatherers had a matriarchy social system in which the mother is the head of the family and tribe and in which descent and inheritance are through the female line.
From this cave came the "Indalo" an anthropomorphic picture that has become a symbol of the region. The paintings at Los Letreros have been dated between 6000-5000BC.