Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Cultures > Southern > Terrestrial hunters of the far south of Chile


The earliest cave paintings in the region were the work of the ancient Paleo-Indian groups, and the hunter peoples continued the tradition, producing both positive and relief images of hands, as well as patterns of lines and crosshatching, concentric circles, animal tracks, guanaco figures, and negatives of placas, rectangular template objects with rounded edges. As the reasons for producing rock art changed over time, so did the colors used. The groups used pigments similar to those used by the earliest Paleo-Indian groups (reds, blacks, and whites), with greens and yellows as later additions. Pigments were applied directly onto the rocks or blown over template objects in the case of the relief images. These pigments may have also been used from early times in body painting, a practice that was common at the time of first contact with Europeans.