On the road of the Grán Païtiti, the rupestrian paintings of Mantto

On the road of Mantto, the Father Polentini and me we stop in the small village of Lares, where this one held the parish there, during numerous years. We listen to the mayor (alcade) to speak to us unceasing brooms of helicopters that, four or five years ago, overflew the region toward an unknown destination in the jungle of Madre de Dios.

 

Mantto
Polychrome rupestrian paintings, Mantto, post-colonial time.
(September 2003)

We take our road and finally arrive, some hours later, to the aplomb of the site of Mantto. It is, actually, a set of caves and dwellings troglodytes, with important parietal paintings of the colonial time. The Incas would have taken refuge in these heights to escape the Spaniards. No far from there, rise an enormous cataract, the" catarata of the Mama ", named thus because of its curious shape recalling a woman's silhouette holding a child in his/her arms.

 

Mantto
Polychrome rupestrian paintings, Mantto, post-colonial time.
(September 2003)

The site is localized in the district of Lares and in the province of Calca (Department of Cusco), in the confluence of the Lares rioses and Amparaes, from where are the Yanatile rio. I enter with precaution these caves and inspect the paintings, of ocher color. Do I observe quantity of animals, of the herds of llamas, there some felines and of the men on horseback (Spaniards?).

The whole appears to me, indeed, very interesting but goes back up to one post-colonial time. In some caves, some partitions collapsed in a brutal manner because the breaks are clean. One dynamited them, it doesn't make any doubt. One also notices, everywhere, of the traces of vandalism and havoc! It revolts me! What did one come to look for here? One has there, he/it seems, searched of gold. The gold of the Incas. This however curses for which so many people died in this country since so many centuries! A local tradition tells, indeed, that a part of the convoy of the Coya, the wife of Atahuallpa, would have passed by Mantto, on the road of Païtiti. Did one conceal a part of the gold of the second ransom there then?

Mantto
Polychrome rupestrian paintings, Mantto, post-colonial time.
(September 2003)

The pilot of the helicopter affirmed to the Father Polentini to have cleared tons of gold of it.

It has been of months that we try to sensitize the highest authorities of the UNESCO, in Paris, to tempt to save the Grán Païtiti, if he/it is not too late. But the UNESCO cannot make anything without an official demand of the Peruvian government. It is time to wake up!

 

Mantto
The site of Mantto, to the north of the Grán Païtiti.
(According to the work of the Father Juan Carlos Polentini Wester, "El Paí Titi. Padre Otorongo", Lima, 1999)

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