Monday, March 27, 2017

Along an Old Paugussett Trail (CT)

I’m just making another observation
Just to see what I can see,
Asking myself the same old question:
Is that Indigenous Artwork?
Is this a Ceremonial Stone Landscape Feature? 

I park at an entrance to Cranberry – Swamp? Pond? Garden?

At the first break in the segment on the opposite side of the stone-lined road (probably an Old Paugussett Trail that connected the coastline to the Berkshire Mountains, turned stagecoach route and modern state highway):
Looking back toward that gateway, suddenly the triangular stone stands out:
- and there's a suggestion of a "sideways looking Uktena" sort of thing going on as well:
 Could be: WPA work, on the Estate of ______ who made it a Wildlife Sanctuary. Maybe they just tidied up an older wall (the Old Spring Water Place that was somewhere around here?),  maybe modified the older field-stones, leveled it off, placed those quarried capstones on it...
But then, why a turtle, here and there?

And take into consideration that I've already been to other segments of these roadside constructions, found some other examples of this type of Testudinate Effigy Inclusion. The one below is up at the peak of the little hill I was climbing that day: 

So, looking for rhomboidal "Healing Diamonds" as well, I'm looking for more obvious turtles - and waiting for some snake imagery to suddenly become obvious - when this catches my attention:
A wider view:
I can imagine a snake or two:
This one has some jaws: 

Farther along, that quartz inclusion looks rhomboidal from this perspective as it catches my attention - as does that circle of quartz toward the interior as well: 
But a different perspective of the same inclusion creates the impression of roundness:
And as far as "Serpent Stacking" goes, I just can't make up my mind about where one ends and the other begins. It's like I can almost see how the stones were laid down, how other stones were added as this segment of stone feature was maintained over time:

The conclusion is that I don't really know and that, of course, further study is needed...
...perhaps with a Turtle Island perspective in mind, rather than the usual assumptions.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Doug Harris - Phone In Discussion

Mass. Forest Rescue is pleased to announce this phone seminar Sunday evening at 7 pm with Doug Harris, Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Narragansett Tribal Historic Preservation Office.
Register for Call - in Information at: by Saturday noon.
Or call/text at: 413-522-7505

We are setting up a MFR Legal Defense Fund to protect Native American sacred stones in Massachusetts forests and forests themselves from ecocide and future generations from the worst effects of climate chaos/ecological destruction. Stay Tuned.
Beth Adams - Mass. Forest Rescue Campaign 
Like our Facebook Page: 
The photo used above is from Killingworth CT:

[In case you do not know: Doug Harris is the person in the Narragansett Tribal Historic Preservation Office most involved with interpreting ceremonial stone features and interfacing between the tribes and the local communities.]

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Puckwudgie (Algonquian)

     “The Pukwudgie is also native to America: a short, grey-faced, large-eared creature distantly related to the European goblin. Fiercely independent, tricky and not over-fond of humankind (whether magical or mundane), it possesses its own powerful magic. Pukwudgies hunt with deadly, poisonous arrows and enjoy playing tricks on humans... Faithful to the taboos of his people, the Pukwudgie refused to tell her his individual name, so she dubbed him ‘William’ after her father.”
JK Rowling Puckwudgie Description from

 Puckwudgie (Algonquian) from Native Languages of the Americas website:
Name: Pukwudgie
Tribal affiliation: OjibweAlgonquinAbenakiWampanoagMohican
Alternate spellings: Bagwajiwinini, Bagwajinini, Pukwudjininee, Puckwijinee, Puk-Wudjie, Pukwujininee, Bokwjimen, Bogwejimen, Bgwajinini, Pok-wejee-men, Pok-wegee-men, Puckwudgie, Pukwudgee, Pagwadjinini, Pagwadjinin√¨, Bagudzinini, Pukwatcininins, Puk-wud-gie, Puck wudj ininees, Pakwatcininins, Paweesuk, Paueeseegug, Paueehnsuk, Pikwatci'ni, Pukwadjiineesuk, Pakwatcininins, Bgoji-nini, Bagudjzinishinabe. The plural form of their name in the Algonquian languages is Bogwejimenak, Bagwajininiwok, Bgwajininwag, Pagwajininiwag, Bagwajininiwag, Pukwadjiineesuk, Pugwudgininiwug, Bgoji-nin-wag, Bgoji-ninwag, etc.
Pronunciation: bug-wuh-jih-wih-nih-nee, bug-wuh-jih-nih-nee, or boog-wuh-jee-mun, depending on the tribe
Also known as: Apa'iins, Pai'iins, Pa'iins, or Pahiins all of which literally mean "Little Ones" or "Little People" in Anishinabe languages.
Type: Little peopleantagonists (in Wampanoag lore)
Related figures in other tribes: Mikumwess (Micmac), Paissa (Miami)

Pukwudgies are magical little people of the forest in Algonquian folklore, similar to European gnomes or fairies. Pukwudgie stories are told throughout the northeastern United States, southeastern Canada, and the Great Lakes region. However, their nature varies in the folklore of different tribes. In the Ojibwe and other Great Lakes tribes, the pukwudgie (or bagwajinini) is considered a mischievous but basically good-natured creature who plays tricks on people but is not dangerous. In the Abenaki and other northeast Algonquian tribes, a pukwudgie (or bokwjimen) can be dangerous, but only to people who treat him with disrespect. In the Wampanoag and other tribes of southern New England, pukwudgies are capricious and dangerous creatures who may play harmless tricks or even help a human neighbor, but are just as likely to steal children or commit deadly acts of sabotage. According to some Wampanoag stories, pukwudgies were enemies of the culture hero Maushop and were even responsible for his death (or the deaths of his sons.)

Pukwudgies are usually described as being knee-high or even smaller. Their name literally means 'person of the wilderness' and they are usually considered to be spirits of the forest. In some traditions, they have a sweet smell and are associated with flowers. Pukwudgies have magical powers which vary from tribe to tribe but may include the ability to turn invisible, confuse people or make them forget things, shapeshift into cougars or other dangerous animals, or bring harm to people by staring at them.
 Related figures in other tribes: Mikumwess (Wabanaki), Memegwesi (Anishinabe)

Makiawisug, or the Little People
"They are dense, bulky and born from the stones of the earth.
 But they are also delicate, wearing lady slipper flowers as moccasins."

     “The rocks of Mohegan Hill are the home of the Makiawisug, or Little People. After nightfall, the call of the Whip-poor-will signals their arrival. They are good spirits, but the Mohegans know they must be treated with respect, according to tradition. It is important to leave baskets of food, such as corn cakes and berries, or even meat in the woods for them. Wearing moccasin flowers for shoes, they gather the gifts at night. In fact, Makiawisug means "whip-poor-will moccasins."
     They have their own rules of etiquette. Those who see the Little People should not look directly at them, they think it's rude. If they catch you staring, they might point a finger at you, rooting you to the ground, while they take your belongings. Another rule is don't speak of them in the summer, when they are most active.
     But in return for kindness, they taught the Mohegan people how to grow corn and use healing plants. They keep the earth well and grant favors for those who honor their ways.”

 The Little People Who Live Under the Hill

In September of 2012, a developer trying to build housing in Montville, Connecticut received some surprising news during a town hearing. They would need to alter their project because it threatened small stone structures that had been made by magical, dwarf-like creatures that lived underground... 
    ...magical little people are an ancient tradition among the Algonquian tribes that are native to this area, and the developer was planning to build 120 units of housing on Mohegan Hill, which is the historic and spiritual home of the sovereign Mohegan Tribe. Although the hill is not technically within the boundaries of the tribe's reservation, it is still very important to them. A letter from the tribe's historic preservation officer explained the significance of the stone structures:
The sacred stone piles on Mohegan Hill are a critical feature of the traditional landscape of Mohegan Hill; they were created by the “Little People” who live deep within the ground of Mohegan Hill. These “Little People” or Makiawisug are the ancient culture heroes of this region. These stone piles also possess powers that protect the Mohegan people from outsiders. Not only do the “Little People” still live within the ground on the Hill and continue to guard the stones, these stone piles are perceived as being made of the bones of Mother Earth and they contain messages that guide generation after generation of Mohegan People. Contemporary Mohegan tribal members make offerings to the “Little People” in hopes that they will continue to protect our Tribe."

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Black and White Stones (Woodbury CT)

 The Kid with the Snow Plow
    The kid with the snow plow suddenly stopped back plowing and instead pushed all the snow up into the stone wall along my driveway. I stopped shoveling out the three cars and struggled through the drifts, waving my arms but he backed up and rammed it again. I stumbled out into the road and knocked on the window, let him know I didn’t want a 300 year old wall knocked apart.
   So as the huge pile melts, exposed stones absorbing heat from the sun, I’m looking to see what damage was done – the amount of snow may have prevented a direct hit by the plow itself and I am hoping what is still under snow looks as fairly intact as the little bit I can see today.
    But the second surprise was the stones that just happened to be the first I can see:
     I have really only recently been paying attention to this wall as an Indigenous-made stone feature, stonework of the Nonnewaug band of the Pootatuck, who during Contact Period times lived across the river from this house of undetermined age. Dr. Curtis Hoffman stopped by for a quick look one time, skeptical at first but soon agreeing with me about the Native American Iconography – lots of snake and turtle artwork imagery. There’s some snake-head-like qualities to that stone above that were suddenly apparent – in fact it greatly resembles another probable snake-head-like stone a few miles away:

    So I look up, thinking about the black and white stones combination of a recent post at RockPiles:}. 
    I picked out two small stones in the flower bed below the end of this retaining wall, placing them where they are in this photo below:

   Turtle maybe, probably, definitely but it’s also a snake, right? Images and images within the images, multiple images - that's also a diagnostic of Indigenous Stonework in many places. Aren’t those jaws?? And if that’s a spot for an eye, then wouldn’t the black stone be a pupil, the white stone becoming the obvious “White of the Serpent’s Eye?” What if I switch them?? Would it make the Stone Serpent "come alive??"

Sunday, March 19, 2017

JK Rowling and the Southern New England Horned Serpent

   Well, there’s a surprise – a Southern New England Horned Serpent has a Harry Potter connection. It turns out that, in the Harry Potter World, there was an American wizarding school, Ilvermorny:
      “The great North American school of magic was founded in the seventeenth century. It stands at the highest peak of Mount Greylock, where it is concealed from non-magic gaze by a variety of powerful enchantments, which sometimes manifest in a wreath of misty cloud,” writes J.K. Rowling in “Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” on the Pottermore blog.
The Horned Serpent
“William began to introduce Isolt to the magical creatures with which he was familiar. They took trips together to observe the frog-headed Hodags hunting, they fought a dragonish Snallygaster and watched newborn Wampus kittens playing in the dawn.

Most fascinating of all to Isolt, was the great horned river serpent with a jewel set into its forehead, which lived in a nearby creek. Even her Pukwudgie guide was terrified of this beast, but to his astonishment, the Horned Serpent seemed to like Isolt. Even more alarming to William was the fact that she claimed to understand what the Horned Serpent was saying to her.

Isolt learned not to talk to William about her strange sense of kinship with the serpent, nor of the fact that it seemed to tell her things. She took to visiting the creek alone and never told the Pukwudgie where she had been. The serpent’s message never varied: ‘Until I am part of your family, your family is doomed.’

Isolt had no family, unless you counted Gormlaith back in Ireland. She could not understand the Horned Serpent’s cryptic words, or even decide whether she was imagining the voice in which he seemed to speak to her.”

   There's more about some other characters based on Indigenous Legends from this corner of Turtle Island and I'll maybe get to that but for now I wonder, "Are there any "stone walls" on Mt. Greylock? Do they in any way resemble very large snakes made of stone, contain other effigies or connect certain places - all that stuff I wonder about whenever I make observations of any "stone wall?"

How Western Massachusetts' Mount Greylock Became Inspiration For Literary Legends

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Ceremonial Stone Landscapes Presentation by Doug Harris (MA)

Seventy-three Native American sacred ceremonial stone landscape features have been identified by federally-recognized Tribes along the proposed pipeline route.

 Just in from the Nolumbeka Project:
    "Even if you cannot attend this presentation, please consider making a financial donation for legal fees. Remember, it was not that long ago that we faced a similar battle with Kinder-Morgan in this immediate area and throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The ugly head of that black snake can re-surface. Much depends on the success of this Sandisfield campaign to set a precedent and save the forest and the ceremonial stone features. We witnessed the bulldozing of similar features at Standing Rock. Please help prevent any more desecration!"

 Information excerpted from fundraising letter follows:
 “There is currently an effort to explore legal avenues to protect this ceremonial stone landscape from being destroyed by the pipeline. The Nolumbeka Project supports the effort to protect these sacred stone structures. The estimate for the first phase of this legal work is $3,500. If you are able to contribute to the initial cost of this undertaking, please make your check payable to “Creative Thought and Action,” the fiscal sponsor for Climate Action Now, who is specifically amalgamating funds for this effort. Please be sure to put CSL in the “memo” line and mail your check to CAN’s treasurer:
Rene Theberge
250 Shutesbury Road,
Amherst, MA 01002
Thank you for your kind attention to this urgent and time sensitive request.
Susan Theberge, Climate Action Now
David Brule, Nolumbeka Project President

Via Rich Holsuch at Sokoki Sojourn

Friday, March 17, 2017

Over by Where the Bowling Alley Used to Be (Woodbury CT)

Above: looking East at a section of road still "bounded" by rows of stacked stones.
Below: looking west at CT Rte. 6 or The Old Connecticut Path, a major Indian Trail in the Contact Period from the other side of the (damaged?) Manitou-like stone...

Above: a sign nearby along Main Street/CT Rte. 6
 Below: Terrace at low side (west) of the road:
Back across to the higher side, in some places a terrace/retaining wall, a free standing structure elsewhere, a wall of unknown age, full of probable Indigenous Iconography.

Above: Snake-like boulder.
Below: Rhomboidal or Healing Diamond (Mohegan)...
I suggest that this is a long maintained stone structure. I suggest the road was an Indian Trail, burned over every spring and fall. I suggest the stones functioned as a fuel break. I suggest the "pinning stones" are not typical European style additions but are more "effigy-like" than purely functional.

The second photo I took that day: 
The second look I took yesterday: 
Another Stone Serpent Waking Up on Turtle Island: