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.