Taira, the dawn of art in Atacama – 2017




Rock art is one of the oldest human expressions of creativity and symbolic thought. It articulates our capacity as Homo sapiens to think about the world and graphically apprehend it.

Not even the deserts are free from our species’ obsession with engraving and painting images on rocks. Indeed, the Loa Canyon, which holds the only river that cuts completely across the Atacama Desert, is like a genuine open-air art gallery. The crown jewel of this ancient “gallery” is the rock art of Alero Taira, a rock shelter in the Alto Loa valley that is the focus of this exhibition.

  • Delight yourself with the beautiful images of Taira
  • Experience its inseparable link with the surrounding landscape
  • Ponder the extreme fragility of the cultural heritage it houses
  • Discover the meanings and purposes these images had for the Atacameño people twenty-five hundred years ago.

Learn that this art was, above all, a celebration of life, a rite performed by herders to ensure the multiplication of their herds in respectful dialogue with the deities that ruled over the earth and the heavens.