Thursday, April 09, 2020

The Road to Plymouth/Patuxet (Wôpanâak Territory)

     Think about how many times you may have read or heard about those early contact times, how the “first settlers” began using already cleared Indian fields. Have you ever read or heard a suggestion as to where the stones went? Think about how many times you’ve read or heard that the Indians burned the “woods” to facilitate hunting, which is slowly evolving into the thoughts that Indigenous People were actually maintaining a Cultural Landscape by selective burning that was sustainable rather than destructive (mostly), perfected with a thousand or so years of practice?  Think about how those fires may have been controlled, how just maybe those rows of stones just might have been fuel breaks created over that long period of time before European Contact, a soft term for Colonial Invasion, separating what was to be burned at a certain time for a certain reason.

Excerpt from the companion website to:
Our Beloved Kin: Remapping A New History of King Philip's War
By Lisa Brooks

 The Road to Plymouth/Patuxet:
      “During her journey, Weetamoo walked well-worn paths through forests which her community had long managed with fire. As Roger Williams noted, Native men performed controlled burns of the “underwoods” in the fall, which, combined with selective cutting for firewood, fostered an abundant open forest, which encouraged the growth of tall nut trees. The spacious canopy allowed sunlight to filter through the leaves, encouraging growth of berries and other edible plants. The nuts, grasses, berries, and saplings that flourished in this forest were inviting to game, while the clearing of undergrowth facilitated travel and visibility for hunting as well as gathering.
   As she neared Plymouth, Weetamoo would have witnessed the changing landscape, new European plants growing among ancient fields. These plants were particularly well adapted to the stomping hooves of cattle, which were also newcomers to this land. Since court was often held on "market day" in Plimoth, Weetamoo may have encountered English men leading their cattle and other livestock to market, as she neared the colonial settlement in Patuxet. Today, we might view cattle as docile animals, contained within fences, barns and factory farms. Likewise, we might regard fire as a destructive force beyond our control. Yet, for many of the plants and people of the Wampanoag country, the opposite was true. 
   Cattle, horses, and swine repeatedly roamed into Wampanoag homes and fields, sometimes even signaling encroachment before settlers were seen, and “clearing the land” through their consumption. In Creatures of Empire, Virginia DeJohn Anderson has convincingly argues that livestock were “the means by which colonists established exclusive control over more and more territory. As agents of empire, livestock occupied land in advance of English settlers, forcing native people who stood in their way either to fend the animals off as best they could or else to move on.” Still some settlers sought ameliorations to prevent conflicts with their neighbors. For example, John Brown and his son-in-law Thomas Willet built a massive, “four rod” fence at Wannamoisett to make manifest the boundary between their farms and Wampanoag planting fields. However, the fence did not prevent livestock from ravaging women’s mounds. Cattle, adapting to their newfound freedom, learned to navigate the waters, traveling around the fence at low tide, leaving deep fissures in the mud which also impacted Wampanoag clam gathering on the banks.[1]
Accessed April 9, 2020

[1] Virginia De John Anderson, Creatures of EmpireHow Domestic Animals Transformed Early America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 190-2, 210-11, 223-4. Thomas Bicknell, Sowams: With Ancient Records of Sowams and Parts Adjacent (New Haven, CT: Associated Publishers of American Records, 1908), 160-4. Thomas Williams Bicknell, A History of Barrington, Rhode Island (Providence, RI: Snow and Farnham, 1898), 38, 43

Friday, March 27, 2020

On Viewing a Video Presentation of "Sermons in Stone"

Susan Allport Photo

    Above: Still Capture from a video presentation of "Sermons in Stone: The Stone Walls of New England and New York" - Susan Allsport (sic) by WCTV8 (9/21/2015):

          Explained in the video as a choice to use a large unmovable boulder as a "natural bar way" for stone fences made by early farmers, it reminds me of a combination or mash-up of the head stone of this Snake Effigy below...
    And the vertically undulating incredibly beautifully made body of this other Snake Effigy, both found within the Nonnewaug Cluster (Stone Prayers Hoffman 2018):

I'll add an overlay of a rattlesnake eye to Allport's photo:
And while those young trees remind me a little bit of antlers - and make me wonder about how a Culturally Modified Tree might have been twisted into a horn-like shape as well - I'll overlay some horns so that I'm really hitting you over the head with the concept's validity:
There was a mention, just before this Effigy appears in the video, of the wise choice of New England farmers to use boulders at gateways so oxen and carts wouldn't knock them down:
Well, once again, I'll say this reminds me of many similar boulders within the CT Cluster #3:
I found it interesting to hear Susan Allport say these zigzag stone fences were photographed in either Bethlehem or Woodbury CT:
I immediately thought of this zigzag segment of a very long Snake Effigy very close to my home:

She repeats the claim that these are accidental creations, the remaining stone evidence of stones tossed against Early Worm or Snake Fences, the wooden rails long ago rotted and only the messy evidence of thrown stones remaining, misinformation that I trace back to Eric Sloane.

Allport has some examples of Virginia Rail Fences. I captured one of them:
If Allport had driven up Grey Fox Trail, she would have passed by this segment of stones with its snake imagery and remnant chestnut rails still in evidence:

There's a Cross and Rail Fence or two in the presentation as well:
We are advised in her book and elsewhere, that Euro-American Settler Farmers (their slaves, indentured servants and children as well) placed these stones under these wooden fences, again Eric Sloane the person who put forward this idea in his writings;

I image a different scenario, rails being added to existing rows of stone that are clearly Snake Effigies to meet a legal requirement to "improve and own" property allotments:
There's a rock pile field clearing stones stacked on a boulder photo:
And I don't know why there wasn't photos of these structures that appear in her book:

    It's as if a science writer turns into a Stone Wall Mythologist, repeating Euro- American myths that Ethnically Erase 97% of the Human History of Turtle Island to promote idea of a “New England,” where all (or almost all) 252,539 miles of stone fences are considered to have been built in the Post Contact Period.
     Not Misinformation, but actually Disinformation.

     "Evaluations of máunumúetashby parties who do not test their hypotheses against Northeast Algonquian cosmology and rituals are doing, at best, only half an investigation..." Rolf Cahat

máunumúet(ash) are defined as place(s) of ceremonial gathering (ehenda mawewink, Lënapeuw, mawighunk, Mahhekanneuw). 

     Reminiscent of Rolf Cachat writing the above in "Assessing Stone Relics in Western Massachusetts Part II: Patterns of Site Distribution" in the Bulletin of Society for Connecticut Archaeology (2018), I will change a word or two, add a phrase or two, and say:
“Evaluations of stone wall-like Qusukqaniyutôk by parties who do not test their hypotheses against Northeast Algonquian Traditional Ecological Knowledge and recent studies of Ceremonial Stone Landscapes, cosmology and rituals are doing, at best, only half an investigation..."
Qusukqaniyutôk: (‘stone row, enclosure’ Harris and Robinson, 2015:140, ‘fence that crosses back’ viz. qussuk, ‘stone,’ Nipmuc or quski, quskaca, ‘returning, crosses over,’ qaqi, ‘runs,’ pumiyotôk, ‘fence, wall,’ Mohegan, Mohegan Nation 2004:145, 95, 129) define spaces…”

Monday, March 16, 2020

A Glossary of Terms

     "Out of respect for accuracy, intention, cultural sensitivity and right of peoples to govern their self-narrative, Indigenous terms are here used to described things Indigenous. The term "cairn" is specifically Gaelic/Gailidh and properly applies to that cultural context. "Rock pile" was noted as inappropriate by the Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Narragansett at a 2017 conference, since relics are sacred and "regarded as grandfathers." Both preceding terms have been misapplied to Algonquian sacred relics, for which Indigenous, accurately descriptive terms are given below. Following is a glossary of terms in this article, "Assessing Stone Relics in Western Massachusetts Part II: Patterns of Site Distribution" by Rolf Cachat in the Bulletin of the Archaeological Society of Connecticut, 2018.

anogkuéu kodtonquag(kash) - barely elevated low mound of concentric circles of smooth/round cobbles or very small stones, sometimes variable as pebbles without organized rings (Nipmeuw).
hasennnípaü "standing stone" (Nipmeuwsunś nipámu Narragansett).
Kingkiyungkômuk  - "upturned, upheaved district," southeast Shutesbury, northeast Pelham.
kodtonquag(kash)ceremonial stone grouping (káhtôquwuk, Narragansett), allegorically, a 'stone prayer.'
manito(u), manitoiwuk - a spirit being, of the spirit beings (a group, or some of the spirit beings).
máunumúet(ash) - place(s) of ceremonial gathering (ehenda mawewink, Lënapeuw, mawighunk, Mahhekanneuw). 

nípaü kodtonquag(kash) - stone groupings, either tabular or round stones, stacked in upright courses on top of boulder bases (Nipmeuw).
 níswonki - an enclosure, "three bends" (Nipmeuw, shwihwakuwi, Narragansett).
pettuteaonk "portal" (Nipmeuw), place of passage between layers of the world.
Sanàkkômuk - "difficult district," eastern Amherst, northwest Pelham, most of Shutesbury.
tauôhkômuk sacred lands, 'open' lands (tauéu, uninhabited, open, unclaimed, Nipmeuwehenda tauwundín'burial ground,' Lënapeuw).
tûnuppasuonk kodtonquag(kash) - turtle effigies in stone (Nipmeuw).
wawanaquassik -  honoring stones place (Mahhekanneok).

 Name of Algonquian nation + euw = name of Algonquian language (ex: Nipmeuw, Massachuseuw, Lënapeuw, also spelled Lunapeeuw).

Lënapeuk, Lënapeuw - Delawarean nations and languages as a whole.
Mahhekanneok - Mohican, Mahikan nations as a whole.
Nipmeuw, Nipmuk/Nipemaug - Nipmuc nations of five divisions: Nashaway, Quaboag, Quinnebessit, Wabaquassit, and Nipnet. 

"Let’s get one thing straight: you’re not in Scotland anymore.
They are not cairns (he pronounced it “Karns” and not “Karens”).”

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Tûnuppasuonk Káhtôquwukanash

Tûnuppasuonk Kodtonquag(kash)
                         - turtle effigies in stone (Nipmeuw).

    Káhtôquwuk (Narragansett), allegorically, a 'stone prayer.'

Tûnuppasuonk Kodtonquag(kash) - turtle effigies in stone (Nipmeuw):

Turtle in Mohegan Pequot
      Turtle:  toyupáhs  NA
 NA – toyupáhs plural toyupáhsak
                                            toyupáhs NA turtle
         toyupáhsuk: on the turtle 
  Awáyáhsak yok. Noy’hc, toyupáhs, skôks, wôpsuq, tá muks: “These are animals. Deer, turtle, skunk, eagle, and wolf.”