The White Shaman Mural: The Story Behind the Book

Author(s): Kim Cox; Carolyn Boyd

Year: 2017


The prehistoric hunter-gatherers of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands created some of the most spectacular rock art of the ancient world. Perhaps the greatest of these masterpieces is the White Shaman mural. This presentation provides an introduction to our recently-published book The White Shaman Mural: An Enduring Creation Narrative, which is one of the most comprehensive analyses of a rock art mural ever attempted. Drawing on twenty-five years of archaeological research and analysis, as well as insights from ethnohistory and art history, we identified patterns in the imagery that equate in stunning detail to the mythologies of Uto-Aztecan-speaking peoples, including the ancient Nahua and present day Huichol. The identification of core Mesoamerican beliefs in Pecos River style rock art reveals that a shared ideological universe was already firmly established among foragers living in the Lower Pecos as long as 4,000 years ago.

Cite this Record

The White Shaman Mural: The Story Behind the Book. Kim Cox, Carolyn Boyd. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431797)


Archaic Rock Art

Geographic Keywords
North America - Southwest

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17613