National Geographic : 1953 Aug
© National Geographic Society' 282 4 Aboriginal Man Centuries Ago Carved His Sacred Designs on Volcanic Rock near La Pintada These petroglyphs, outlined with chalk for the camera's benefit, bear resemblance to decorative figures still used by Panama's San Bias Indians. Dr. Stirling, whiskbroom in hand, lays bare a stylized insect. Mrs. Stirling (picture at right) examines an apparent insect or alligator and ageometrical design. + Poles Serve Where Paddles Will Not Go. Canoes Push Up the Swift and Shallow Rio Cocl del Norte Rivers provide the only practical routes into the jungle-clad interior from Panama's north coast. This stream was sopowerful that one poleman had tohold the canoe while his partner pushed ahead; paddles made no headway against the swift current. Rocks on the river bottom are visible only 18inches below the surface. The smaller canoes had so little freeboard they carried only objects that could stand a ducking. The Cocl del Norte was asuccession ofdeep stretches and rapids. In deep water an outboard motor propelled the "Queen Mary," which towed the other craft. In rapids crewmen hadtowade, pushing and pulling the heavy dugouts.