[Sacred Images: A Vision of Native American Rock Art]
Sacred Images: A Vision of Native American Rock Art, Leslie Kelen & David Sucec
1996, Gibbs-Smith Publisher, paper
112 pages, 60 color photographs, 10" x 11"

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From the book: Utah has long been known for its spectacular landscape. But not many people know that Utah's prehistoric rock art is equally as impressive. In fact, Utah has thousands of rock art sites, including a large number of the finest panels to be found anywhere in Europe or America. The sites are tucked among the arches and reefs and along the walls of the winding canyons. Whether pecked or painted, at least ten distinct styles of rock art can be seen in Utah -- including the oldest documented Barrier Canyon Style -- representing an art-making tradition with a time span of at least 8,000 years! Art historian David Sucec provides perceptive analysis for the photographs. Leslie Kelen's "conversations" with members of the Ute, Paiute, Hopi, and Northwest Shoshone tribes inform us about rock art from the Native American point of view -- its historic significance, cultural impact, ritualistic importance, and sacred nature. This book of magnificent photographs and insightful text is the next best thing to hiking there yourself. The images gathered do not reflect isolated or occasional artistic phenomena, but reveal an interrelated and interacting artistic universe. Using natural light techniques, photographers Craig Law, John Telford, Tom Till, and Philip Hyde reveal the prehistoric and historic rock art images as they stand on the boulders, cliff faces, and overhangs throughout Utah. The sites range from Canyonlands and the San Rafael Swell to Horseshoe Canyon and the Uinta Basin. The visual impact is illuminated by David Sucec's evaluation of the artistic styles of native peoples of this region over a period of 8,000 years. And through compelling interviews with contemporary Native Americans, we see a unique perspective on the mythology, tradition, and ceremony associated with rock art, which confirms that pictographs and petroglyphs are, indeed, sacred communication.


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