Friday, April 25, 2008

The "Indian Look"


I posted the full article at Rock Piles (http://rockpiles.blogspot.com/2008/04/indian-look.html), where there's more traffic and comments - and content...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Connectedness





Over the years I've been looking at what I believe to be Native American stonework that survives beneath the modern scars created by the series of waves of immigrants to Turtle Island, I have to remember my friend Wendell's constant reminder to me not to forget that "Everything is connected."



You might call that an "ecological point of view."



You might call that a "web of life, that we are but a single strand of."



I see that in the remnants of stone work, as I walk on Turtle Island.
Those stone rows may separate certain areas of land, perhaps resource zones or ceremonial ground, but they also connect each place to the other.
I know that you aren't supposed to use "negative evidence" as you study something, but I've done it to recreate missing pieces of antique furniture, to fake in worn off spots in paintings, and to make educated guesses as to what features existed in this old house my family lives in and use my hands, head, and heart to artistically recreate them.
I do that with stonework too, as I drive along the asphalt scars of roads and highways, catching glimpses of the "Indian Look" of stone rows or rock piles, as I walk along the trails or go off the path to where the most beautiful things are to be found.
It was all connected, I believe.
And "What's been lost and is now missing," I keep wondering.
And "What can I do to prevent further loss," is constantly on my mind, as is "How can I (or "we," since I find I'm not as alone as I thought about this stuff) help bring the truth into the light, end this bigotry and feeling of superiority, to recognise that a higher culture may be one that is Connected and doesn't scar a landscape - or planet?"
So I use my imagination (and a wiser man than I once said, "Imagination is more important than information.") to reconstruct the missing rows that allowed controlled burning, not just right here but a couple miles away and a couple hundred miles away, all over the ancient Algonquian Confederacy, a densly populated and "rich in resources for the taking" land as described by the first European "discoverers," who brought with them diseases, rats and pigs, and worst of all perhaps, their "Unconnectedness."
It's a given that stones were taken from the ancient rows and used to build the more modern foundations and stone fences we call "stone walls." Balanced stones were tumbled or made immobile, boulders split for mill stones or perhaps just to destroy a "pagan idol," and rock piles dissassembled to rob grave sites for goods and skeletons or just knocked apart for absolutely no good reason at all.


My paternal great grandfather was a part time stone mason and probably used lots of those stones (unknowingly) to build many a "stone wall" to help feed his family. The photo above, taken from: http://www.earthfocus.us/ct6.htm is the most famous of them, he being remembered not by name but as one of a two "Italians" on a crew of six men who built them.) Just this past Sunday I was at a wedding shower, at a house that was once part of the family farm (the first place in Woodbury to have electricity when one of my grandmother's many brothers made some sort of generator), noticing "dressed up" (rebuilt) zigzag stone rows and other ancient ones untouched, glimpses of boulders and possible rock piles in the little bits of woods that still remain, not far from an ancient fishing place where my grandmother probably talked with "Woodbury Indians" who were long ago thought to be extinct as a People, camping there on weekends or days off from their jobs in nearby Waterbury.
Listen for the sounds of internal combustion engines and you'll probably find some bulldozer or ATV doing it still.

I'm slowly trying to read all the many things on The Algonquian Confederacy of the Quinnipiac Tribal Council website I found yesterday and today read something about "Connectedness." It's worth a read and you can find it here: http://acqtc.com/Articles/Connectedness.
As Ruth Thunderhorse writes in her article: "Born through countless millenia of living as an integral part of the total Creation, this connectedness gives a depth of spirituality and an understanding of the meaning and purpose of life that had no equal among those who live only to use and exploit the Creation, the land, the rocks, the atoms, the wildlife, the water, the air, the stars, and even each other for their own selfish ambitions..."
(The image used above is from a Wikipedia page about Charles Mann's "1491": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1491:_New_Revelations_of_the_Americas_Before_Columbus.
The caption to it reads: "An indicative map of the prominent political entities extant in the Western Hemisphere c. 1491 C.E., as presented in 1491.")

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Algonquian Confederacy


I found this quite interesting, "The Algonquian Confederacy of theQuinnipiac Tribal Council" website:


(Image from their main page, a painting by David Wagner)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Back to Shantry

Back to Shantry Road with my $20 binocular camera...

...I thought I'd try to get some close-ups...



...they are close-ups, aren't they?













Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Signs


Working yesterday, taking a drive after getting some coffee with someone, I was close to the Massachusetts border, in Norfolk, CT. Just past the "Rock Pile" golf range on Route 44, I'd taken a right (north wards) on a road called "Loon Meadow," wondering why water fowl would be hanging out in a meadow. I ended up on a road called "Shantry" where the stone "walls" took on a definate "Indian Look," on both sides of the road.To my left, north, was the hill's summit.
To my right, down hill and southerly, there was perhaps a swamp or pond or something, barely visible thru the trees.
And a rock pile...























The stones looked interesting, multiple rows, sort of a lacey look to them, stones perched here and there on the rows.





































And then there's this one:









































Signs abounded:





Just beyond somebody's exclusive brush dump, there appeared a cluster of stone piles.
You can just sort of make them out in this lousy photo, even if you do click on them.
I'll have to reset the camera so they enlarge better and drive by again sometime soon...



























































































Much further down the road, after turning onto "Pine Road," the water in the valley was quite visible. Slowing down, I spotted another Rock Pile:






























Luckily for me it was on the opposite side of the road from this sign; I wouldn't want to be shot in the specific spot the sign mentioned:

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Stone Prayers Of Southern New England

I really like this:



It's sort of funny, looking at the comments, that some people insist on the Colonial origin of stone piles (barely 500 years) that may be Prayers, as Jim says, made by the original inhabitants (who were here for thousands and thousands of years - and continue to live here).

Monday, April 07, 2008

By the Old Hunting Caves 2




















Here are the snowy boulders (http://wakinguponturtleisland.blogspot.com/2008/02/stones-on-boulders.html) without the snow























































These stones on boulders are within sight of each other; if you enlarge this photo, you can see two, the third behind a screen of hemlock...




































A hat for size, all the sizes are similar...














..except for this one, one big boulder on top of another...














































Looking west toward the Old Hunting Caves...

Friday, April 04, 2008

By the Old Hunting Caves

I took some snowy pictures of some “Stones on Boulders”:
http://wakinguponturtleisland.blogspot.com/2008/02/stones-on-boulders.html
and then later some other pictures of nearby mounds:
http://wakinguponturtleisland.blogspot.com/2008/02/another-park-road.html

And then just recently went back into an area now CT State Forest, once called "The Old Hunting Caves."
I found I wrote: “My intention was to photograph some rock piles and a stone worked spring below them, about 200 feet from the True Leatherman's Cave, but it was muddy and I wouldn't have enough time.”

(An old circa - 1950 map shows the terrain, and by coincidence in the area defined by those black lines, at the Brook and 650 ft. end, so I may not actually be on State Forest, but a chunk of private land, after all.)


Anyway, I had some time just the other day to go back and take some snow free photos:























Note the large piece of quartz directly above the cave entrance; it's part of the out crop...

This one is taken from above, looking back down to where I was standing, the quartz at my feet...



















This might be "Mantoe's House Rock," or "Mantoe's Rock House," I wrote about on Tuesday, April 03, 2007, that for some reason I can't just paste in here.
(I might later edit this!)

























It has lots of quartz veins and what ever it is that you call other pieces of quartz sticking out of it.

I took this because I imagined I could see a face with two spots of quartz for eyes and some veins of the same that seemed to be lips, like it was a spirit mask kind of thing...
This one always reminded me of a turtle shell and a head pointing to the left (the west, really;


I mean in the photo it points to the left...):























There's a remnantof a stone row below the Rock, just touching the stream that flows down the valley:






































Water flows from the House Rock (or Rock House); In all the years I've walked to the Rock, I don't remember it ever being completely dry.







The cracks form that "Manitou" (or perhaps, in the local dialect, the "Montoe?") sort of shape...
And in between the two outcrops that are the Cave and the Rock, there is this stone, with that similar shape:






























I'm stopping here for now and will continue this in the near future...