The Ancient Native American Drawings in A Missouri Cave Sold

By: April Carson


A Missouri cave containing Native American artwork from more than 1,000 years ago was sold at auction Tuesday evening. The Picture Cave is home to paintings that date back nearly 2 thousand years and were protected by an Osage Nation member hoping they would be preserved for generations after him/herself passes away in order "to protect our most sacred site."


It seemed like a surefire candidate as well-known landmarks such as Stonehenge or Great Wall Of China are often purchased privately with money raised through public funding already allocated but alas buyer #3 bid $2 million USD -- outbidding both individual owners whose offers topped off around 3 hundred grand each--and now owns land surrounding this historic find!


Selkirk Auctioneers is delighted to announce the winning bid for this cave, which was used as an ancient burial ground and site of sacred rituals by Native Americans. This makes it one of only two known collections in Missouri with more than 290 polychrome paintings made from indigenous people who lived hundreds years ago.


The Osage Nation, in a statement called the sale “truly heartbreaking.”

The American Indian tribe of Oklahoma is opposing plans to auction off sacred land that contains artifacts from their culture and history for commercial gain. The caverns were discovered by Carol Diaz-Granados while researching her book about this amazing place; 20 years later it was under threat because she had spent so much time learning more about its significance as well as working with other scholars who are experts on oral tradition among Native Americans like herself (an anthropologist at Washington University).


This would be one way you could interpret "selling" but really what they're doing here isn't just selling something...it's destroying part of a culture and way of life and how it has developed over time.


The cave features drawings of people, animals and birds. Diaz-Granados said various means were used to create the art: charred botanical material was used for some depictions while other techniques included scraping off brown sandstone with white figures created by using a different kind black pigment on top or charcoal dusting over it afterward."


The tone here sets up the fact that these drawings are not just "art" like you might see in a museum. They're special because they're unique and have been used by generations of Native Americans to tell stories of their past, present, or future events.

The ancient drawings at the Missouri cave are unlike any other site with stick figures or simple designs. In fact, these intricate details portray a highly complex society that can only be imagined by many people - some scientists estimate it could date back up to 1,000 years ago!


Bryan Laughlin, director of Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers says - "The cave has other history, too. European explorers visited in the 1700s and wrote down names of some crew members on its walls as well as Selkirk’s signature before they left for their next voyage across the ocean!"


There are also endangered Indiana gray bats that make this place home year-round - but don't worry: Laughlin says he plans to protect it both physically and respectfully."





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