Photo-polymer etching, 2012
El Lamento del Caribe- Coral
El Lamento del Caribe- Taino
El Lamento del Caribe- Colón
On a recent trip to the Dominican Republic, we visited the oldest Cathedral of the Americas, on which construction started in 1510, eighteen years after Columbus arrived on its shores.
There, in a forgotten corner outside the Catedral Primada de América, we discovered a row of gargoyles in the shape of winged, feathered wolves. They had never been mounted on the unfinished top of the cathedral. They were old and weathering had exposed the coral structures that are embedded in the local limestone from which they were carved.
What symbolism do these creatures represent, these curiously feathered Dogs of God – the Domini Canis, in the context of the Conquest of the Americas?
They sit howling to the sky, and it seemed to me, that they were lamenting for the past; the perished, native, Taino Culture, – and for the future; the current growing loss of coral reefs in the Caribbean.