Cave Myths Past and Present: Cerro Bernal as a Sacred Landscape

Author(s): Claudia Garcia-Des Lauriers

Year: 2017


In the municipality of Tonalá, Chiapas, Cerro Bernal represents a unique feature on the Pacific coastal plain—one that is both strategic and of economic importance as well as representing a deeply potent sacred landscape. Among the important features of this landscape that have become the focus of cotemporary folklore are a series of caves, or more specifically rock shelters, that have entered the imagination of local residents as important elements of a living and enchanted landscape. However, upon further research it is not difficult to see how these contemporary myths embody ideas that have a pre-Columbian origin. The conception of Cerro Bernal as an enchanted landscape has very ancient roots, at least going back to the Early Classic, and perhaps earlier. This paper explores the importance of caves in the conception of Cerro Bernal as a place on the landscape-both real and conceptual on the Pacific Coast of Chiapas.

Cite this Record

Cave Myths Past and Present: Cerro Bernal as a Sacred Landscape. Claudia Garcia-Des Lauriers. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431614)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15143