Traditional Craftsmanship > Rock-art at Mauxi

Rock-art at Mauxi

In Goa, there is ample evidence which throws light on the movement of prehistoric tribes in the Mhadei and the Dudhsagar valleys. In the year 1999, Mauxi, a beautiful village of Sattari taluka situated at a distance of 4 km from Valpoi, was in the limelight when a rock engraving site was discovered here. Mauxi, a thick jungle and part of the Sahyadri, not only provided wild fruits, roots, tubers and other edible forest products but also was a source of small game for hunting and fishing due to the perennial water source. Hence the place provided a congenial habitat for prehistoric man who also fashioned tools out of the stone in the area.

A seasonal tributary of Velus river, Zarme flows from the hills of Vagheri where a basalt stone depicts a rock bruising of a beautiful humped bull on the outcrop. Archaeologists have drawn a parallel with the discovery of the rock bruising found at Maski in Raichur district of Karnataka. The bull from Maski has over sized lyre-shaped horns with an over emphasized hump. The body is somewhat long and linear with stick like legs shown separately. The bull from Mauxi has straight and vertical horns and a rounded hump. The body is short with short hind and fore limbs. As per the findings of the Archaeological Survey of India's Goa mini circle, the rock bruising of Mauxi belongs to the Neolithic period.

On another rock, there is a linear elongated body of an animal - presumably deer - near which is found a deeply engraved trishul or trident with a gentle curve at the bottom. Within the river bed, a stone depicts an animal in running posture with two prominent horns which can be identified as an antelope. One more stone which is buried half way in the middle of the river shows two bulls facing each other, clearly indicating a bull fighting scene. A little distance away from the right bank of the rivulet, an elongated stone has the bruising of a bull which has another small bull inside its body. There are also cupules and an engraving of a footprint.

This rock art site of Mauxi throws light on the intimate knowledge the people had of animal forms, habitats, locomotion and behaviour. Among these rock engravings, the most prominent animal found is the bull and the settlers of this area might have been practising agriculture and making use of bulls for ploughing and other operations.

A more detailed, systematic and scientific study of these rock engravings will throw light on the ecological and archaeological history of this area. As per the local tradition, the present settlers came from Bethoda and settled at Mauxi after totally wiping out the aboriginal people. The locals were aware of the rock arts and identified them with the art from the time of the Pandavas of Mahabharata.

Contributed by Rajendra Kerkar

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