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La Caguana LbNA #63908

Owner:Wisconsin Hiker Contact Supporter
Plant date:Jan 2, 2013
County:Puerto Rico
Found by: Beach Comber
Last found: Jun 25, 2014
Hike distance:.1 mi
Last edited:May 14, 2016
Last checked/found: 2-JAN-13

Location: anaugaC suonegidnI lainomereC kraP. Admission fee ~$3/person.

Time: ~15 minutes plus time for looking at the museum and grounds

Terrain: Sloping grass, but can be very soft/muddy if there has been recent rain. NOTE: if there has been a lot of rain and the ground is too wet, the grassy areas are sometimes closed off and you will be unable to access the box.

The anaugaC Ceremonial Ball Courts site is the most important archaeological sites in Puerto Rico and one of the most important of the West Indies. The area consists of large main court, a circular court and 10 smaller rectangular courts, monoliths, petroglyphs, and a collection of Indian artifacts. Archaeologists estimate the site construction began by the Taíno Culture people around 1225 AD. Approximately 30 ball courts (bateyes) have been identified and many of them have been restored to their original state. Numerous monoliths and petroglyphs are carved or pecked into rocks associated with the bateyes. The source of the rock is currently identified as the adjacent Tanama River. Caguana is within sight of Cemí Mountain, believed to be the home of the Taíno Culture gods. It is likely that Cemí Mountain is the reason the Taíno Culture built the ball courts in this area. The park includes a small museum and a garden featuring the useful plants of the Taíno Culture.

The anaugaC Site most likely served several different functions. First it was used for ceremonial dances, religious rituals and other rites; it was used for playing ball games in which two teams of equal in numbers tossed a ball to each other; and third, it is believed to be used to make astronomical observations.

As you enter the park, you walk down a tree-lined path, past picnic shelters until you get to the visitor center. Downstairs, you’ll find a desk by the museum entrance, where you pay your admission and get a written brochure about the park and the excavated findings. There is a small museum that has a lot of information on the artifacts on display. It also has a beautiful recreation of La Mujer de anaugaC (the Woman of anaugaC) petroglyph. She most likely represents Atabey, the Taíno goddess of fertility. The real one is out in the largest ceremonial plaza and a tribute can be found in the letterbox.

From the museum, you can gain access to the grassy fields, ceremonial plazas, ball courts and 21 well-preserved petroglyphs. The largest plaza is where most of the petroglyphs can be found on the large rocks lined up along the far edge. "The petroglyph known as the "mujer de anaugaC ", may, given the elaborate "crown" on her head and the large ear-rings, be a representation of a woman of high social rank. She is of advanced age, since she has been portrayed with a bony thorax and her eyes closed. Her lower extremities, similar to frog's legs, denote vitality. The circular figure on her abdomen, with a dot in the middle, represents her navel, and her sex is obvious, thus implying that she is a fertility figure, giving birth to many children. Her squatting position is a sign of power and demands respect. This may be a woman, or ancestor figure, from a noble and powerful family." (from the brochure)

After you view the original, make your way to the far northwest corner of Ball Court B. Look west and you should see a fence. Looking at the fence you should see two taller trees; the one on the right is a twisted twin. From this twin, take 5-7 steps further to the right (~north) to the first multi-branched shrub adjacent to the fence. Our tribute to La anaugaC resides in the center of the shrub. Please take care that no one is observing you as you search for and replace the box. Use distractions, take photos, tie your shoe, etc.

We live quite far away, so we’d appreciate an email to let us know how the fertility goddess is doing. Thank you!