U.S. # 5040a
2016 $6.45 Imperforate La Cueva del Indio
Located on the north coast of Puerto Rico, near the town of Arecibo, sits La Cueva del Indio, or the “Cave of the Indian.” The cave, which is more of a rock formation with daylight shining through, is full of ancient petroglyphs (rock carvings). These carvings were made by the Taíno Indians centuries ago. Many believe special ceremonies were held in and around the cave. The drawings in the rocks may have recorded these events.
The Taíno inhabited the Puerto Rican islands, which they called Borinquen (Land of the Valiant Lord), long before Europeans arrived. But when Spanish explorers reached the area in the 1490s, the Taíno were enslaved. The Indians were exposed to new diseases and their population quickly declined. Today, little of the Taíno tribe or its culture remain.
When the cave was rediscovered in 1982, it was immediately protected to preserve the historic artwork. In 1992, it was declared a National Reserve, and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
The images and symbols engraved in the rocks represent an ancient culture and the customs of a tribe long-lost, but not forgotten. Through the continued preservation of the cave, the memory of the Taíno Indians will be kept alive for centuries more.
This stamp, like all the other American Landmark stamps, features the artwork of Dan Cosgrove.
Value: $6.45 Priority Mail rate
Issued: January 17, 2016
First Day City: Washington, D.C.
Type of Stamp: Definitive (Imperforate)
Printed by: Ashton Potter
Method: Offset printing in sheets of 60, with six panes of 10
Quantity Printed: 30,000 stamps
The La Cueva del Indio stamp is the 15th in the American Landmarks series. The series began in 2008 with the Mount Rushmore Priority Mail stamp.