Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Caves and Cave Art of Primordial People

To primitive humans, caves were sacred places. 

People lived around or inside the entrance of a cave, but ventured deeper into the cave for religious or magical purposes.

Animal paintings on the walls of caves may have been primitive man's way of connecting with their spiritual qualities. 

Boys were taken into the caves to be initiated as hunters. 

A rite that probably involved a symbolic death and rebirth deep within a dimly lit, womb-like cave surrounded by animal images.

To early humans a cave symbolized the leaving of everyday reality. 

As they went inside to find where their deeper nature-connected deities and went to honor the spirits of other animals.

Many early cave paintings, such as those of the Trois Frères cavern, in southern France, depict beings who are part-animal and part-human in form. 

A bearded male figure, with ears of a bull, antlers and a horse's tail, may have represented either a divinity or a magician.

It is difficult to differentiate between images of human magicians and divine figures in Paleolithic art, as both appear to share this mixture of human and animal features. 

The magician was an important member of the community  and was probably considered a god in human form, with influence upon the gods and animal spirits.