- Hardcover: 117 pages
- Publisher: Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History; First Edition/. First Printing edition (May 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0910805032
- ISBN-13: 978-0910805032
- Package Dimensions: 10.8 x 9.4 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,088,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Forgotten Artist: Indians of Anza-Borrego and Their Rock Art First Edition/. First Printing Edition
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On one such visit I stopped at Pictograph Rock in Little Blair valley and was enchanted by the painted rock art on this large boulder. It looked more to be a 'tableau' of information to passersby, since the rock is located on a saddleback between valleys, which may have been a crossroads of ancient hunting trails. This area was also called Smuggler's Trail, and if standing above the valley, one can still see faint trails winding through the sparse brush dotting the desert floor. On this occasion, I saw the stone more as a 'marker' than visual art, one that meant to convey information about seasonal water present there. This would have been very useful to travelers on their way to either distant villages or hunting grounds. When I returned two weeks later to follow my instincts, before I had a chance to acquire Knaak's book, I suspect I may have found some of the markers shown on Pictograph Rock. Climbing up that mountain rewarded me with a better understanding of what the artist meant to convey with his art. I posted a field report here: [...] (surprisingly, the book arrived in the mail the day I was out in the field) I hope to return there during the winter rainy season to see if in fact the water springs are active as depicted.
In addition to ritualistic magic in ancient times, the Kumeyaay and other Indian tribes living in the desert also had a real need for information on a most precious resource, that of water, which they may have depicted with ideogram-like symbolism. I suspect some of the art work described in "The Forgotten Artist" may in fact also represent pictographic markers for where that water may be found. As a caveat to anyone visiting these sites, do bring water because the desert can be hot and dry, and be very careful to not disturb these beautiful ancient legacies of rock art, for they are also sacred, for all future visitors to enjoy. Manfred Knaak gives grace and understanding to what those ancient artists were trying to do in their craft, to communicate both with the spirit world as well as us, the future humans to pass this way. Very enjoyable book rich in Indian folklore, to stimulate our imagination when viewing this precious art form of the desert Southwest.
Rock art is the Native American way to communicate to heaven, tribe and us. These art gallery is important, historical and priceless. From this book, reader can learn the world of tradition of Native Americans before Columbus. This book does not give you the full picture but motivate to a site visit.
This enjoyable book is a tribute to the lost art and artists of Anza-Borrego.