2010 Travel News ArchiveTravel

Corral de Los Indios among the most important pre-Columbian monuments

Who would have imagined a historic site in the Dominican Republic would be compared to Stonehenge in England, or the Ring of Brodgar in Scotland and the medicine wheels of the American West. Catholic Online says that Corral de los Indios, a pre-Columbian monument located in southwestern San Juan de la Maguana, is like those a universal creation of circular stone ceremonial and an astronomical site.

The Corral de los Indios is located roughly 5 kilometers north of San Juan de la Maguana city. Catholic Online describes it as “among the most important pre-Columbian monuments of the Antilles” but it is a site hardly ever visited by tourists, even domestic tourists.

As reported the corral is composed of a circular clearing some 235 meters diameter, with a 1.50 meter long gray stone with a face carved on one end in the center.

Research on the site is spotty, explaining why there is little buzz about the monument. It’s reputed that the site originally had two rows of black stones forming two concentric circles around the center that were destroyed by an irrigation district manager or builder, for the hydraulic works in the Canal Juan de Herrera.

The site suffered further damages in 1918 when Americans during their invasion of the country laid the center stone upright. Between the years of 1960 and 1965, restoration work was done by local historian Emil Boyrie de Moya, returning the center stone to its original condition where it remains today.

It is believed the site was a ceremonial place for the Caonabo and Anacaona Indians as well as an astronomical instrument. It is said that from the center rock astronomical phenomena could be observed and lined up with the outer rings of rock with great precision.

Those traveling to Barahona and Pedernales, can make a detour to San Juan de la Maguana to observe the monument.