Rock art of the Parguaza River forms part of a millenary painting tradition, providing an index of the symbolic world manifested in how the landscape achieved cultural significance. We argue that rock art sites served to establish cultural ties to the landscape, reinforced through re-use and re-painting by successive pre- and post-Hispanic populations, evidenced in panels with superimposed styles. Ethnographic sources illuminate the significance of rock art for contemporary local indigenous groups with active connections to the sites, whose belief systems refer to ties to ancestral territory and the mythical and ritual significance of landscape features. We examine these traditions, including accounts of the circumstances surrounding rock art production.