Pre-Columbian treasure hunt


Ten minutes of treasure hunting

The Caribbean coast of Nicaragua has a history that goes far beyond Zelaya, far beyond Blauvelt and his pirate marauders, far beyond the Kingdom of Mosquitia. Unfortuantely, this history is written only in artifacts that occasionally come to light.

The CIDCA museum in Bluefields has a very interesting collection of artifacts found in the area. These are a few pieces you can find on display.


A closer look at the animal heads reveals the neck area was attached to something larger and flat. These were apparently decorative feet for big bowls. Another interesting note is that some of them have a loose stone or something inside a cavity in the head…that is to say, they rattle!

The jaguar head is especially interesting as it is unlike anything found in the area (that I know of). It shows serious signs of wear, with smoothed lines and dim features. But the face is unmistakable. Others similar can be found in museums in Mexico.

These artifacts represent only a fraction of what has been uncovered on the Caribbean coast. Check out the legend of the manatee for another example of a locally found pre-Columbian artifact.

The truth is that nobody around here knows anything about the Caribbean coast’s pre-Columbian history. If anyone recognizes the style of these artifacts or thinks they can shed some light on how old they might be, feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly.



6 Responses to “Pre-Columbian treasure hunt”

  1. Eric Timar30 June, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    I wish I had something useful to say, but I have to at least mention how awesome this post is. It’s a good thing I did not know of this spot when I lived there, or I would never have gotten any work done.

  2. Rasta Punch21 November, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    where u find these artifacts at? I hope u left these artifacts on the casot caribe, u know the culture house in corn island collects these artifacts, also Lil Island will soon have a mini muesam. these are very nice pieces, it would be a shame if they were taken out of nicaragua, u know dat would be culture robbing, even if they are here on the internet, most Nicaraguans dont have internet access, so these type of things would serve dem betta in dem own country where deh most people could access dem. Just some ting to consider

    • Casey23 November, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

      Yes, I have been to the culture house in Corn Island. I didn’t feel safe leaving those artifacts with them…I love the culture house but they seem a bit disorganized and the artifacts they did have were sitting out for anyone to pick up and drop or walk off with. I brought them…every one of them that the owner would let me take…to the CIDCA museum in Bluefields where they are now on display for all to see. Next time you are in Bluefields you should stop by and check them out.

      • Rasta Punch9 December, 2011 at 11:44 am #

        Nice, I will pass and check em out,, Thanks

  3. Mike14 February, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    Can anyone help me find information on laws pertaining to using a metal detector on Nicaraguan or Corn Island beaches?

    • Casey16 February, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

      I can’t find anyone here who knows what a metal detector is, much less about any laws pertaining to it. Good luck!

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