2D Images from Jose Maria Cave

These five 2D images are pictographs from the José María Cave. The cave is located inside East National Park in southeastern Dominican Republic. The Taíno of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti) were the inhabitants of the Caribbean before Spanish colonization. The Taínos are believed to be the first people of the New World to have encountered Christopher Columbus. It is estimated that from 1492-1508 the Taínos were nearly annihilated due to war, slavery and mining brought by Spanish colonization. These images are of Taíno cave art drawn by finger, using clay and charcoal.

Today there is little evidence of Taíno civilization in present day Dominican Republic. The pictographs are important artifacts in understanding Taíno history and post-Columbian encounter. The Indiana University Center for Underwater Science has documented over 1200 pictographs from the cave. The images illustrate Taíno life and include depictions of their creation story, first contact with the Spanish and their food-sharing traditions.