Saturday, November 10, 2018

Just Another Boulder Mortar (Watertown CT)

At the Bulldozer's Edge on the Hamburger Side of Town 

Above: “A Turtle Shaped Mortar” from Connecticut’s Indigenous Peoples (2013) by Dr. Lucianne Lavin. That is my photo from 9/2008. 

  It was just a little walk along a row of stones at the northeast corner of the parking lot:
Just past this, looking southeast:
Here: looking northwest:

Keyword "Grocery:"
Keyword "Senior:"
also "Straits:"

Boulder Mortars:

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Pootatuck Stonework On the Trail to the "Roaring Water" (Woodbury CT)

Native American Heritage Month, November 2018 - "a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness..." 

   Not many people are aware of Indigenous (Native American, Indian) Ceremonial Stone Landscapes or the fact that Ceremonial Stone Landscapes are recognized - and hopefully protected - on Federal Lands.
   Or at least, were.
   It was just a little over two years ago that a Ceremonial Stone Landscape was bulldozed at Standing Rock in North Dakota - and I'm not sure how many people are aware of that either.

   Not many people in my town would be aware that my photo above is of a large artifact or feature of the Pootatuck Ceremonial Stone Landscape - or that some towns and Land Trusts also recognize - and preserve and protect - Ceremonial Stone Landscapes, working together with Tribal Historic Preservation Officers.
   I'm pretty sure most people in my town and many towns around here would tell me that it is actually an unremarkable and quite common feature, the iconic farmer's fence or stone wall, the smaller stones kept in place by the boulder at the gateway, just like one on their property, at their home or grandpa's farm.
   Or perhaps this one, about five miles north of the one on the Trail to the Roaring Waters:

There is a National Park Service training video that illustrates a Snake Stone Row or Serpent Effigy: “This is a serpent effigy - and the serpent effigies are quite often in dispute because the presumption is that they are stone walls. Most often, they are too low to pen anything in, but we identify them by other means. Usually they do have a head, such as the one you see here..."
- Doug Harris

The complete text and video can be seen here at the National Park Service website:

Back to the trail, that flat topped triangular boulder, the shape of the rattlesnake the Uktena is modeled after, imagining it as a Big Snake head, a body behind,
imagining eyes ...
    I would further qualify the “stone wall” as an Uktena Qusukqaniyutôk because the head is bent at an angle from the “body” of the “wall” or Qusukqaniyutôk ~ ‘stone row, enclosure’ (Harris and Robinson, 2015:140)

Anthropologist James Mooney:
"Those who know say the Uktena is a great snake, as large around as a tree trunk, with horns on its head, and a bright blazing crest like a diamond on its forehead, and scales glowing like sparks of fire. It has rings or spots of color along its whole length, and can not be wounded except by shooting in the seventh spot from the head, because under this spot are its heart and its life. The blazing diamond is called Ulun'suti -- "Transparent" -- and he who can win it may become the greatest wonder worker of the tribe..."

"According to Mooney (1900:458-459), the name Uktena is derived from akta, or eye, and implies being a “strong looker,” as everything is visible to it (i.e., it can see thoughts). From the same root is derived akta’tĭ, “to see into closely” which is also the Cherokee word for a magnifying lens and telescope. So the name Uktena implies that it sees thoughts and it does so in an accurate way; knowledge that comes in useful to predict enemy tactics (Jannie Loubser - E-mail communication July 21, 2015). " - Uktena "strong-looker"
The Uktena knows your intentions, as you enter the place he guards with his encircling body. The Uktena can help control wildfires set by lightening from the Thunderbird's eyes. Stone Uktena can act as fuel breaks for purposely set controlled Indigenous fires:
Clockwise around the enclosure:
Zigzag Rows of Stones border riparian zones:

More Serpent Gateways 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Oldest of the Trees at the Hamburger Edge

Can't even find it now, an image of a sycamore tree, branches raised up as if they were arms, possibly a Culturally Modified Tree - but it made me think of the tree to the left in this photo from 8 years ago or so - and there's more than just two significantly larger trees. I just can't recall...

It's an interesting area of land, a newer Cultural Landscape intruding into older layers of landscapes including the Indigenous Ceremonial Stone Landscapes, evident in rows of stones and other features that may even include those larger trees...

2012 LiDar images, some of the rows of stones, probable Qusukqaniyutôkanash, visible:

Row of Stones and Outcrop topped by another Row of Stones:

Serpent Stacking (A larger snake made of smaller snakes)

Snake-like segment, with "seventh scale" diamond:

Another intersecting row of stones, one of an unknown number of other Grinding Slicks incorporated into the Qusukqaniyutôk, the hand held stone still resting in place:

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