The Red Linear Style Pictographs of the Lower Pecos River Region, Texas


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Publication Date

January 1984


Red Linear rock art is one of three prehistoric styles defined in the Lower Pecos River Region of southwest Texas. This miniature, monochrome style, characterized by diminutive stick figures engaged in coherent group activities, has been identified at eight sites. Intangible aspects of culture reflected in the pictographs include ranking in social status, ritual and economic practices, warfare and hunting strategies, sex-specific division of society, sympathetic magic, and a selective perception of the environment. A description of the salient attributes, an estimate of Late Archaic age, and an interpretation of its possible function as ritual art are presented as a framework for future reference. The hypothesis that this style is intrusive is based on its divergence from classic Pecos River style art, the dominant regional form. The vulnerability of this miniature form to total destruction presents an impelling need for the recording of additional examples.


Red Linear, Rock Art, Lower Pecos River, Texas

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Plains Anthropologist, Vol. 29, no. 105 (1984).