Finlay Cave, trace of prehistoric art

Finlay Cave, trace of prehistoric art


By Colette Laforet

Cuban nature is truly diverse and very rich. Many people who go hiking, and foreigners who visit the country to enjoy ecotourism, confirm this.

The caves are one of these enchanting places on the Island, where you can find aboriginal pictographs, archaeological riches and varieties of animals.

The Finlay Cave is located in the cove of Caleta Grande, on the south western coast of the Isle of Youth. Explored by the Alejandro de Humboldt group in 1977, it is said that historically it was the home of the Siboney Indians, who left traces of the most important rock art in all of Cuba, especially the caves of Punta del Este.

They are formed by limestone rocks, with coastal vegetation, and the fauna that surrounds it is composed of birds and reptiles. Inside there were 14 pictographs with a series of concentric circles in black and red, distributed between the ceiling and walls, very similar to those of Punta del Este.

That is why they are part of the so-called culture of circles. According to scholars, no other cave in America and, possibly, the world, contains such a profusion of this theme.

There are many hypotheses about whether these cave paintings come from the Taíno aborigines, the Guanahatabeyes, the Siboneyes or from some other group that settled in the area.

Regarding its meaning, the profusion of circles is associated with crops, a source of food for primitive communities, that cyclical process from seed to germ, then to plant and then to fruit that returns to seed. If to this the tones used are added (ocher and reddish), which refer directly to the earth, the idea is reaffirmed.