Monday, December 16, 2013


There is a certain awe that comes about when visiting an ancient site ritually painted and marked like this one. Somehow invisable layers of time seem more aparent, which creates a wide and vast feeling…  Generations and cultures blend together at this place to infuse the present moment potent with clarity.  "Now it is our turn to be here, to be alive in this place…live wisely".
This mountain area has many granite boulders along teh arroyos naturally carved by thousands of years. It was specified as kind of a gateway to spiritual realms by the ancient Pericúes tribes. I can see why, as it is has a magical feel. Nature's elements are strong here, if one can stop thier own thoughts to rest in meditation one can hear nature singing.  I rejoice in that. A good time for prayers, mantra, chants and good wishes toward all sientent beings, no matter what religion or culture. We are all in the same boat.

Thinking to include some of this series ("BCS, New Works")
 in the March 2014 Photography Exhibition planned at Galariá Casa Tota.
More inforamtion about the Pericúe Indiginous people below.

Red Rock Boulder

Self portrait on granite rocks


The Pericues or Pericue Indians of Baja California Sur were an indigenous people that inhabited western Mexico and the southwestern United States. The Pericu made pottery, recorded events in art and text, as well as cultivated the arid environment of the desert. Archaeological finds even point to an irrigation system of sorts that spread as far as 1700 miles in one location. Mysticism also seems to have been an integral part of Perician culture. Many aspects of god were part of the culture and nature was highly respected. These characteristics are two of just a very few shared with other Native American peoples.

From “ Discovery”  A number of groups arrived in the Americas via different routes and at varying times, possibly as early as 25,000 years ago. The finding, released at the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA) Festival of Science in Exeter, England, adds support to the theory that a number of groups arrived in the Americas via different routes and at varying times, possibly as early as 25,000 years ago.  The study also suggests that the two oldest known Americans — Penon woman and Kennewick Man — might have belonged to the Pericues tribe. Even before the DNA analysis, Silvia Gonzalez, lead author of the study and a geoarchaeologist from Liverpool John Moores University, noticed that the Pericues skulls were long and narrow, as opposed to the more broad and round features found in early Native American skulls. "Because of their skull morphology, long and narrow (dolicocephalic) the Pericues could be related to the oldest Americans known, which are Penon Woman in the Basin of Mexico at 12,755 before the present, and Kennewick Man at 9,700 years old," Gonzalez told Discovery News just before Monday's announcement. "Hence, if this was true, they would be older than the Native Indians. The oldest dated Pericue material is only 3,000 years before the present, although there are cave paintings in Baja California dated to 7,500 BP and Clovis points that must be 11,000-11,500 years old."
Pericues were a hunter-gatherer society that lived on shellfish, fish, cacti and other plants in the desert area of Baja California. Objects found in the area suggest that the Pericues used stone tools. Gonzalez indicated that they had a complex burial system involving mortuary-like burial areas located both along the coast and in caves. She said they also used wooden spear throwers, and likely painted bones with red ochre, as early decorated shells and pearls have been found in Baja. "The missionary descriptions indicated that the men were naked and the women wore grass skirts, and they were very tall and slim," Gonzalez added. "They became extinct during the 18th century due to changes imposed by the missionaries."

Territory  The southern edge of the Baja California peninsula, from Cabo San Lucas east to Cabo Pulmo, together with the large Gulf of California Islands of Cerralvo, Espíritu Santo, La Partida, and San José, have been recognized as aboriginal Pericú territory. William C. Massey (1949) thought that the eastern portion of the Cape Region, including Bahía de las Palmas and Bahía Ventana, were occupied by a Guaycura group known as the Cora. Subsequent reexamination of the ethnohistoric evidence suggests that Cora was synonymous with Pericú.
The status of the La Paz area is uncertain. Massey assigned it to two Guaycura groups, the Cora and the Aripe.W. Michael Mathes (1975) argued that it had belonged to the Pericú in the 16th and 17th centuries but was taken over by the Guaycura some time between 1668 and 1720. An alternative interpretation is that it was disputed ground between the Pericú and Guaycura throughout the early historic period.

Prehistory  The archaeological record for Pericú territory extends at least as far back as the early Holocene, about 10,000 years ago, and perhaps into the late Pleistocene. The distinctive hyperdolichocephalic skulls found in Cape Region burials have suggested to some scholars that the ancestors of the Pericú were either trans-Pacific immigrants or remnants of some of the New World's earliest colonizers. The distinctive Las Palmas burial complex, involving secondary burials painted with red ochre and deposited in caves or rockshelters, was particularly noted. The continued use of the atlatl and dart alongside the bow and arrow as late as the 17th century, long after their replacement in most of North America, has been used to argue for an exceptional degree of isolation in southern Baja California.
Harumi Fujita (2006) has traced the changing patterns in the exploitation of marine resources and in settlement within the prehistoric Cape Region. According to Fujita, after about AD 1000, four major centers of socioeconomic and ceremonial importance emerged in the Cape Region: near Cabo San Lucas, at Cabo Pulmo, at La Paz, and on Isla Espíritu Santo.

History  European contacts with the Pericú began in the 1530s, first when Fortún Ximénez and mutineers from an expedition sent out by Hernán Cortés, the conqueror of central Mexico, reached La Paz, followed shortly afterwards by an expedition under Cortés himself (Mathes 1973). Sporadic encounters, sometimes friendly and sometimes hostile, linked the Pericú with a succession of European explorers, privateers, missionaries, Manila galleons, and pearl hunters throughout the 16th, 17th, and early 18th centuries.
The Jesuits established their first permanent mission in Baja California at Loreto in 1697, but it was more than two decades later that they felt prepared to move into the Cape Region. Missions serving the Pericú, at least in part, were established at La Paz (1720), Santiago (1724), and San José del Cabo (1730). A dramatic reversal came in 1734 when the Pericú Revolt began, resulting in the most serious challenge the Jesuits experienced in Baja California. Two missionaries were killed, and for two years Jesuit control over the Cape Region was interrupted (Taraval 1931). The Pericú themselves suffered most, however, with combat deaths added to the already devastating effects of Old World diseases. By the time the Spanish crown expelled the Jesuits from Baja California in 1768, the Pericú seem to have been culturally extinct, although some of their genes may survive in local populations of mixed descent.

Traditional culture  The Pericú are known primarily through the accounts of early European visitors The most detailed of these were left by English privateers who spent time at Cabo San Lucas in 1709-1710 and 1721.
Subsistence and material culture  The Pericú are best known for their maritime orientation, harvesting fish, shellfish, and marine mammals from the waters of the southern Gulf of California. Terrestrial resources such as agave, the fruit of cacti, small game, and deer were also important.
The Pericú were one of the few aboriginal groups on the California coasts to possess watercraft other than tule balsas, making use of wooden rafts and double-bladed paddles. Nets, spears or harpoons, darts, and bows and arrows were tools for procuring fish and meat. Bags, baskets, and gourds were used for carrying.

Social organization  Communities seem to have been politically independent. Leadership positions were hereditary and were sometimes held by women. Conflicts with the Guaycura were chronic.

Religion   Fragments of Pericú mythology were recorded in the early 1730s (Venegas 1979(4): 524-525) ... Shamans claimed to be able to effect supernatural cures of the sick. Mortuary and mourning observances were particularly elaborate.  The people believed in a god as creator of heaven and earth. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Faces in Baja Ca Sur

I see that it has been awhile since updating this blog, so will try and fill in better on what is happening these days!

One thing I've been working on is a photo documentary project, portraits of local faces. Why? Becasue I've a love of portraiture!
What lies behind the eyes and faces?
How well do we really see a person?
How are we affected by the cycles of youth and age…and the environment we live in? Here is a brief sample of images.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tattoo study

This photographic study was inspired by a image of a huge rattlesnake on a young
New Zealander.   What is it like to live with this and what does it mean to you?
The form follows the torso beautifully, and so becomes an elemental body portrait.
An interesting study of the outer image, and the inner expression of a young man combined.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Devine Face's of Mexico

Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

Wood carving from Mainland México, on doors in Baja Ca Sur.
I love the texture and old feeling of these wood carvings...
They seem antique though they may have been carved more recently. 
There is much symbolism with Our Lady de Guadalupe.
Her shawl has the cosmic constellations of the northern and southern hemispheres.
The neck ornament show a 'flor de cuatro pétalos' which is a universal symbol
of the four directions/elements in nature, with the space element in the middle.
She is radiating light in her aura, like the sun and moon which shine.
The crown symbolizes qualities of mind and a natural noble protection.
She is pregnant with new life and is standing on a crescent new moon.
An angel child flies at her feet to hold the moon in its hands.

Santa María de Guadalupe

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Double shrine/spirit house
on the way to Santiago

Ancient White Fig Trees

Tres Vacas for a Magazine Cover

All photography by laurie pearce bauer. Prints available for sale.