Reviews for Volume 1

Dr. Polly Schaafsma

Your most beautiful book has arrived and it is impressive! Thank you for inviting me to participate! It looks like it will be a major reference for the northern border region of Baja and D-Stretch is a big help with so many of these panels.

Also want to mention that I was pleased to see the endorsement by Doug Peacock. He doesn't know me, but I've met him a couple of times in connection with Karl Kernberger and Abbey…I'm a dedicated fan of Abbey on the environment, and in that crowd best know artist John DePuy. Long-time friend.

Thank you once again and congratulations of a fine production!!

Dr. Polly Schaafsma, Polly Dix Schaafsma is an American archaeologist, best known for her publications on Native American rock art. Schaafsma is a research associate in the Laboratory of Anthropology, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her books include, Rock Art in New Mexico (1972). Her other books include Indian Rock Art of the Southwest (1980, now in its 10th printing), and Images and Power: Ethics and Rock Art (2012).

Andy Nettell

Don Liponi has created an amazing work of scholarship in La Rumorosa Rock Art Along the Border. Using the basic tools of an archaeologist combined with the layman’s hard work, love and respect for ancient cultures, this book will inspire rock art enthusiasts to “see” the rock art of the Yuman people in a whole new light. By combining cutting-edge photography software with good old-fashioned boots on the ground, Liponi has documented up to 100 sites previously unknown—sites you can now enjoy in this book. By focusing on education and volunteerism and the value of shared knowledge, this book will lead to the preservation of these works of wonder for future generations.

Andy Nettell, Proprietor Back of Beyond Books, Moab, Utah. Perhaps the finest bookstore in and about the Southwest. The most extensive collection on books for hikers, archaeologists, explorers and adventurers all of kinds including an extensive collection rare Edward Abbey literature.

Douglas Peacock

The pictures command your attention. These photographs of ancient American rock art bleed off the pages and into that place in our minds where the shamans once lived. The draw of Don Liponi’s La Rumorosa Rock Art Along the Border reaches beyond modern archeology and ethnology, which provide a mere hint at the ethos of the prehistoric artists who painted these powerful images. The Kumeyaay were Native Americans who lived on the Baja-California border from about 500 AD to contact times. Their descendants are probably the Yuman speaking Tipai. The striking red, black and white pictographs were painted in caves and on rocks along the southern California border, up the Gila River and along the Colorado River, ranging from the lower Grand Canyon to the Sea of Cortez. This tradition of ancient art is called La Rumorosa, after a site in northeastern Baja, Mexico.

The writer Edward Abbey once said the rock art of the Southwest constituted a classic art tradition, which would someday be recognized as important as the Paleolithic wonders of Lascaux and Chauvet Cave in Europe. I believe this book presents a compelling argument for Abbey’s viewpoint. Here we see paintings of animals and sun bursts, circles and dots, human figures that morph into birds who fly to the other world. Liponi records painting never observed before—because the images were very faded by age or vandalized—rock art captured by a photographic method that amplifies small pigment traces. No one knows for certain who painted the pictures or carved the images, nor can any modern human tell us exactly what the rock art is portraying, though interviews with Native Tipai point to the realm of the spiritual—a shamanistic tradition.

Don Liponi agrees with that indigenous assessment; he recognizes that the value of preserving of archaeological sites and saving wilderness draws from the same well. The most intriguing and complex artistic motifs suggest the crossing of human boundaries to meld with wild nature—that wilderness which has always been our home.

Douglas Peacock, author of In the Shadow of the Sabertooth, Grizzly Years, Walking it Off, The Best of Edward Abbey,
In The Presence of Buffalo, etc.

Dennis Slifer

La Rumorosa Rock Art Along the Border is one of the more unique and innovative books to emerge in the field of rock art studies in recent years. It makes a valuable contribution by focusing on an under-appreciated cultural heritage from a region where the prehistory is not fully understood, by presenting new sites that have not been published previously, and by documenting what is rapidly being lost. Compared to other parts of the American Southwest, the rock art of the border region has been lightly surveyed and documented—in part due to the fact that many of these images are faded pictographs that are barely visible. This book uses digital enhancement technology called DStretch to reveal stunning images that until now could not be discerned let alone evaluated. Another refreshing approach is the emphasis on what Native Americans here believe about this rock art and their ancestral connections to it. The spiritual value is stressed throughout. Combined with a strong emphasis on conservation of a fragile resource, the book celebrates the beauty of Tipai and Kumeyaay rock art and presents a strong case for doing all we can to preserve what remains of it and honor the ancient ones who made it.

Dennis Slifer, author of Kokopelli, Serpent and the Sacred Fire, Signs of Life, Guide to Rock Art of Utah, Rock Art Images of Northern New Mexico, etc.

A review from the California Rock Art Foundation

“La Rumorosa Rock Art Along the Border is the first publication to focus on the rock art of this region, primarily along the California and Baja California deserts, the southern Colorado River corridor, and southwest Arizona. Almost none of the sites or photographs have ever been published.” 

Please click on the link below to read more of their review:

A review from "Vestiges" Monthly Newsletter of URARA, the Utah Rock Art Research Association

June 2018; Vol 38; Number 06
Book Review, La Rumarosa Rock Art
Richard Jenkinson
La Rumorosa Rock Art Along the Border: Survey of Kumeyaay and Related Artwork in Southern California, Colorado River Corridor, Western Arizona and Baja California
Photography by Don Liponi and Daren Sefcik
Contributions by: Aha Makav Cultural Society, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe; Cheeyow and He-Emah, Tipai Native Americans, Campo Kumeyaay Nation; Lynn H. Gamble; Ken Hedges; Michael Wilken-Robertson; Polly Schaafsma; M. Steven Shackley with Steven Lucas-Pfingst, Kwaaymii-Kumeyaay Native American; Ben H. Swadley; and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians
Desert Trails Publishing
306 pages
A helluva lot of color photos
The book focuses on rock art and Native American culture along the California-Mexico border. This area has received little previous attention in rock art literature. The rock art is not as spectacular as what we often see in Utah or in other parts of California, but what is special here is the comprehensive treatment of the material. We get the perspectives of history, archaeology, ethnology, and interviews and essays by Native Americans of the region. There is commentary by rock art experts, including perceptive essays by Ken Hedges and Polly Schaafsma. The book is lavishly illustrated with color photography. There are six galleries of photos of rock art that run fifteen to twenty pages each. Most of the rock art photos are DStretched because the artwork is often badly faded. The format and comprehensive approach to the material provide a template that can be used to examine the rock art of other areas. Very highly recommended!

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