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Meet Ra Paulette: A Cavedigger

Thursday, Aug 27, 2020, 6:12 pm

Meet Ra Paulette, a man who dedicated his life in creating beautiful sculptures inside mountain caves. He is an American cave sculptor based in New Mexico. He isolated himself from the world for the past 25 years or so, only to carve and create artistic spaces into hillsides and inside sandstone buttes. Check some of the images of his splendid artwork, and get to know how he turns nature into art.
1.What He Does is Inspiring

He created these wonderful looking caves in about fourteen different places in the desert area outside of San Jose (New Mexico). He digs, chisels, and carves beautiful and cathedral-like interiors inside sandstone caves and buttes of New Mexico. He says he does this because he finds immense pleasure and happiness in doing what he loves.

What He Does is Inspiring-Meet Ra Paulette: A Cavedigger

2.He Does Everything on His Own

Every day he goes to those caves with backpack and wheelbarrow, and spends the whole day inside them. He is like a one man army, and his efforts show us why a human being is never too weak to achieve the impossible. Imagine the level of dedication, patience, concentration and physical strength he needs to 'artify' those 'nature's swellings'!

He Does Everything on His Own-Meet Ra Paulette: A Cavedigger

3.He Learned this Art on His Own

Ra Paulette is a self-made man. He has no guides or mentors. He learned the art on his own. He hasn't formally studied architecture, sculpting, or structural engineering. He is not only passionate about cave sculpting, but also takes that as his profession. He made several cave sculptures for resorts. Do you know how much he charges them? $12 an hour!!!

He Learned this Art on His Own-Meet Ra Paulette: A Cavedigger

4.Windows in the Earth Shrine

"Windows in the Earth Shrine" is one of the many caves Ra Paulette has made. If you want to check this man's art in real life, you need to visit 'Rancho De San Juan', a resort in Northern Mexico. The resort is in possession of a giant sandstone butte, in which Ra Paulette was asked to create a cathedral-like atmosphere. You need to trek for half a mile uphill to reach this 'Windows in the Earth Shrine'.

Windows in the Earth Shrine-Meet Ra Paulette: A Cavedigger

5.There is a Movie Based on His Story

The documentary film 'Cavedigger' is based on Ra Paulette's life and work. This movie was released back in 2013. You will be surprised to know the fact that this movie was nominated to Academy and Oscar Awards. The movie too is as beautiful as his work. Many film critics around the world showered praises on this movie.

There is a Movie Based on His Story-Meet Ra Paulette: A Cavedigger

6.He Has Got a Unique Sculpting Style

If you look at the pictures of his work, you will understand that it is virtually impossible for an average human being to achieve something like this. His work is not all about his efforts or time he invested. It is all about the perfection he achieved in the end. There is so much of variety in his sculpture, which features scallops, molded curves, smooth edges, inlaid stones, narrow pods and crusty ledges.

He Has Got a Unique Sculpting Style-Meet Ra Paulette: A Cavedigger

7.Why He Create Caves?

In one of the interviews, he said he enjoys physical labor. He came to New Mexico as a laborer, and soon become every employer's favorite man because of his dedication and commitment towards work. He once created a cabin on top of a hill. It took two years for him to complete that. He liked the outside view of the cabin, but from inside it's not the best. That was the time when he developed strong interest towards creating caves, and started working on cave art.

Why He Create Caves?-Meet Ra Paulette: A Cavedigger


8.A Little About His Early Life

Ra Paulette was born in 1946. He was brought up in Indiana. He is older child of his family. He has two younger brothers and one sister. The family moved to many places when he was a kid. He continued changing places even when he became an elder guy. He lived in many parts of US before settling in New Mexico. He says he is the black sheep of his family!

A Little About His Early Life-Meet Ra Paulette: A Cavedigger

9.He Enjoys Manual Labor

He says manual labor is the foundation of his expression. When digging and excavating the caves he breaks down all the movements into their simplest parts and reassembles them into the most efficient patterns and strategies that will accomplish the task while maintaining bodily ease.  He said, "To do it well, to do it beautifully, is a "whole-person" activity, engaging mental and emotional strengths as well as physical strength."

He Enjoys Manual Labor-Meet Ra Paulette: A Cavedigger


10.He Compares His Work to Dance

He is a highly passionate and motivated person. He seeks pleasure in working. He believes in perfection and completeness. In an interview, he compared his work to dance. "I'm fond of calling this "the dance of digging", and it is the secret of how this old man can get so much done," He said.

He Compares His Work to Dance-Meet Ra Paulette: A Cavedigger

11.Lots of People Around the World Visit His Caves

He is very popular than what many people might think. Thanks to the documentary movie 'Cavedigger'; his talent and efforts are recognized by many people throughout the world. After they came to know about Ra Paulette, people are visiting the caves to experience his breathtaking artwork in real life. 

Lots of People Around the World Visit His Caves-Meet Ra Paulette: A Cavedigger

12.Ideal Places to Read, Write and Meditate

These caves are often dubbed as best places to pray, meditate, read, write or simply spend time in a highly peaceful and tranquil environment. Several people who visited the caves expressed deep satisfaction over what they have seen there. Some of them even described his artwork as 'eighth wonder of the world'.

Ideal Places to Read, Write and Meditate-Meet Ra Paulette: A Cavedigger

13.Reaching the Place

Over the years, Ra Paulette has created several caves. Most of them are found in Espanola town of New Mexico state. As we said earlier, the cave that is in the possession of a resort too is at the same place. If you ever visit New Mexico, don't forget to check the wonderful cave art of Ra Paulette at Espanola.

Reaching the Place-Meet Ra Paulette: A Cavedigger

14.These Caves are a Proof Why Humans are Great

When you look at these beautiful and well crafted caves, you will admit that humans don't often need super machines to prove their abilities. All Paulette had was basic sculpting tools, with no fancy gadgets. Well, you can put art into just anything if you have the heart of an artist. Artists are different kind of people altogether, aren't they?

These Caves are a Proof Why Humans are Great-Meet Ra Paulette: A Cavedigger

15.His Work is a Proof How Dedication Pays off

Almost all human beings are gifted with something in one or the other ways. However, most of us end up not following our strengths or dreams. Unfortunately, most of us spend a big part of our lives in an attempt to just fill our stomach. Ra Paulette had struggles as a younger person. He still followed his dreams, and did what he wanted. He may not be a millionaire, but he has the satisfaction of doing what he loves. Becoming a millionaire was never his dream though.

His Work is a Proof How Dedication Pays off-Meet Ra Paulette: A Cavedigger


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