Lost Treasures:
La Tabla de La Pasión


The shamans of Baja California laboriously created boards, or tablas, upon which they inscribed symbols. (An Expedition to the Guaycura Nation, Chapter 10) None of these tablets is known to exist today.

In the year 2000 my wife and I visited a cave near the old mission of La Pasión in the land of the Guaycuras between La Paz and Ciudad Constitución, and our guide told us he had found such a tablet there made out of mesquite or palo fierro about the size of a license plate, but it had been taken away by an American who periodically visited and stayed in the area. Unfortunately, all he knew about this man who was probably past retirement age was that he was called Señor Juan and lived in the San Diego area.

Señor Juan Update

Through luck and the wonderful social network that knits the ranchos together, we finally did come up with a telephone number for  Señor Juan, and I talked to him at his home in the States. He was quite straightforward, but had no recollection of any such item ever being in his possession. Who knows, then? Perhaps still floating around in a cardboard box in someone’s garage is the last tabla of the Guaycuras with its strange symbols, perhaps like those we see today at the various ceremonial sites. But for now, that tabla is lost to us, along with the knowledge it could have given us about the Guaycuras.