Ethan Deuel first became aware of the Painted Caves in 1978 through
his father who was gathering information for a book that he was
writing and illustrating about Native Baja culture. Ethan, at age
17, in 1985, accompanied his father for the first time on a trip
to the BaJa caves.
The exposure to (his spell-binding imagery was the catalyst that
launched Ethan Deuel's career. Meticulously detailed sketches and
photographs were taken and gathered by Ethan on numerous trips.
The absorption of this extra-ordinary imagery gave Ethan the ability
to create his first series of primitive cave paintings, which were
based on his interpretations of the aesthetics, symbolism and spirituality
of this BaJa culture.
Ethan's desire to create the visual impact and true essence of
the mystical and physical quality of the culture is his constant
goal. He began experimenting with different mediums which caused
a transition from pottery to canvas to sculptured canvas. His utilization
of contemporary materials allows him the flexibility of not limiting
himself to traditional methods.
Over 350 years ago, the Spaniards arrived in Baja. Their goal was
to build missions from Baja to Northern California. When they dis-
covered the awesome Painted Caves they questioned the Native Indians
as to their origin. The Indians had no definitive answer other than
to say the legend was passed on from generation to generation about
the Giant Painters of the Caves. With the outbreak of disease brought
over by the Spanish, death became prevalent and eliminated any hopes
of receiving further information.
The rediscovery of the Painted Caves in the late 1960's brought
archeologicaJ evidence that estimated the age of the newest caves
to be more than 1000 years old. This proved to be the largest "find"
of cave paintings in the Northern hemisphere second only in the
ivorld (o China. These paintings were created by Nomadic Indians
and they portrayed coastal and mountain animals.