by Dagmar Reinhard
The new Rural Indian Yimba Cajc Lyceum, in Curré,recently received three spheres.We were with Ifigenia Quintanilla, the archaeologist expert in the spheres while she gave a lecture to the students. Ifigenia talked about the ancient stone sculptures; they are unique to the Diquis delta in the South Pacific, and they were built by the indigenous ancestors long before the conquest.
The creators of the spheres worked stone on stone; this practice required a huge team effort. It demonstrates the mastery achieved by the Pre-Columbian sculptors’ techniques. Until 1939, there was no written record about the spheres, when the banana company cleared large extensions to sow the land, unexpectedly, hundreds of “balls” were found.
The great majority of the spheres were moved from their original position, and by 1990, they started to be systematically studied. The type of stone most used was gabbro extracted from the Coastal range. Of special relevance is the Cansót site recognized as a spheres’ workshop. In the Brunca language, “Can” means stone and “Sót” means “doing, making.”
The spheres carry a symbolism within their shape, color, texture, and volume; some of them can weigh up to twenty tons. They were always placed in public places because they were part of the community’s social life.
We can admire the spheres in their original position at Finca 6, six km from Palmar Sur. Every April 12th and August 30th at sunrise, they can be seen perfectly aligned with the sun.
This understanding of the stones’ orientation and the mathematical, astronomical, and geometrical message is the corner stone supporting the recovery of the South Pacific’s indigenous history.