Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stone Age hunting traps found deep in Great Lakes

  13:44 09 June 2009 by Catherine Brahic
§  For similar stories, visit the Human Evolution Topic Guide
“Nearly 10,000 years ago, 50 metres beneath the surface of what is now North America's Lake Huron, hunters set an ambush. Caribou were herded through stone corridors towards archers that lay waiting behind low parapets. No bones or drawings have been found to tell this ancient tale. Instead sonar mapping has given researchers detailed views of the lake floor, which flooded 8000 years ago, preserving a Pompeii-like snapshot of local human history…Another intriguing find was brought about by a lucky accident, says the team. While they were investigating the site with their remotely operated submarine, its trailing communications cable snagged on a stone. When taking the sub back to free the cable, the operators found that it was caught on another pile of rocks that were seemingly arranged by human hands. The feature consists of a flat rock standing vertically on top of a pile of other stones. Meadows says it resembles an inukshuk – a type of "sculpture" used by modern-day Inuit to signal that they have been in an area.”
Caption: Caribou drive lanes have been used in the Canadian Arctic for many hundreds of years.
 (Image: O’Shea et al./PNAS)

Inferences Regarding Aboriginal Hunting Behavior

"Inferences Regarding Aboriginal Hunting Behavior in the Saline Valley, Inyo County, California"
Journal Issue:
Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, 2(1)
Brook, Richard A
Publication Date:
1980 Publication Info: Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, UC Merced Library, UC Merced
 Abstract: The documented use of stone "hunting blinds" behind which marksmen hid themselves "ventre a terre" (Baillie-Grohman 1884: 168) waiting for sheep to be driven along trails, can be found in the writings of a number of early historians (Baillie-Grohman 1884; Spears 1892; Muir 1901; Bailey 1940). Recent archaeological discoveries of rock features believed to be hunting blinds at the Upper Warm Springs (Fig. I) in Saline Valley, Inyo County, California, provide a basis to substantiate, build upon, and evaluate these observations and the ethnographic descriptions of hunting in the Great Basin (Steward 1933, 1938, 1941; Driver 1937; Voegelin 1938; Stewart 1941).
       ". . . curious structures . . . on the tops of round bald hills, a short distance to the northwest of the springs, being low walls of loose stones curved in the shape of a demilune, about ten feet in length and about three feet high . , . , There were twenty or thirty of them
     In another instance. Spears (1892:73) reported that prospectors watched the Indians construct these rock features with a great deal of apprehension. They jumped to the conclusion that the Indians were building forts to protect their mines of fabulous wealth and were preparing to attack the White travelers. Clearly, then, a good deal of lore and mystique surrounded the earliest accounts of these features.

John R. Spears, a reporter for the
"These sheep find their feed on the benches and gulches of the mountain side and, while eating, it is said, they never look upward. But when they are alarmed they fly to the top, and if there is a ridge there, follow it to the highest peak. Having observed this peculiarity, the Paiutes build blinds on the ridgetop runways. They started in during the fall of 1891 to build a number of such blinds on crests overlooking several Death Valley trails. The blinds were in all cases semicircular walls of stone . . . when all preparations were complete, [the Indians] posted their best marksmen in the blinds while the others chased the sheep up to the slaughter [1892:73]."
New York Sun, described rock structures in Death Valley and their function in hunting bighorn sheep:
. . . we took [them] to be graves, but which, as they face in one direction—that is to the northwest—were probably intended as lodging places to break the force of the violent prevailing winds; but why they should resort to the tops of these hills, and neglect the shelter of the numerous caverns and rocky crevices, is inexplicable. It may be that the bottoms have been subjected to deluges, and that it is to provide shelter during these overflows that the hills are chosen for the erection of these small parapets of stone; but the greatest probability is that they are connected with some of their religious observances [Woodward 1961 ;49].
An examination of these features, their location, orientation, and associations in conjunction with ethological attributes, strongly support the notion of a hunting function, and the argument is made that Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) were the primary target of this activity with perhaps a secondary emphasis on hunting of Pronghorn Antelope (Antilocapra americana).

Ms. Lucy Says

To the American Indian: reminiscences of a Yurok woman By Lucy Thompson
Chapter IV (Page 81): Traditions of the Ancient White People (the Wa-gas or Wo-ge)
("White" may be a metaphor for "Old" - as in "White Hair" - not necessarily skin pigmentation.) 
The Yurok, coming into the Klamath River region for the first time, found the area inhabited by “a white race of people known among us as the We-gas.” For a time the We-gas and Yurok lived together, but one day the We-gas “abandoned their ancient homes.”  Lucy Thompson writes:
“…in their farewell journey across this land they left landmarks of stone monuments on the tops of high mountains and places commanding a view of the surrounding country. These landmarks we have kept in repair down through the ages in loving remembrance. I have seen many of these landmarks myself and often repaired them…Oh how little we know of the depths of the ages gone; how wide, how profound and deep is the knowledge we seek. A monument of stone, a stone bowl, a broken symbol, a hallowed spot, a lodge of ruins: all this makes a golden page glittering with diamonds that trills the emotions with mysterious longings for truth and light in the depths of the unknown.”

[There’s also something about the uma’a, the wild Indians who “lived apart from towns in caves back in the hills (xviii).”]

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mt Wachusett bing mapped

I used Peter's map at: to locate the place on Bing Maps. When I spin the images around in the bird's eye view option, north to east to south to west, I seem to think I see "Stone Walls" that are alot like Ron's "Rock Lines" photos...
One at random:

They look alot like

First People

"At The Shrine; Navaho"
American Indians: First People of America and Canada - Turtle Island.
Where it is written: "If you are thinking of using this image, please read this. Thank you."

Native Americans

"First People is a child friendly site about Native Americans and members of the First Nations. 1400+ legends, 400+ agreements and treaties, 10,000+ pictures, free clipart, Pueblo pottery, American Indian jewelry, Native American Flutes and more."

Images (with stones) from Gallery H - 796 old photographs of American Indians in everyday life, buildings, land, totems, effigies etc.

Stone Structures in South Africa

Dear Mr "Turtleman",
      I know you are interested in the ancient stone structures in New England and California from reading your blog and "Rock Piles". Here is something I just recently learned about that I think will be of interest to you - extremely extensive and very old stone structures in South Africa that bear an amazing similarity to the works in New England and California (and elsewhere in our country). This page has lots of good photos and information, and though I agree with them that the stuctures were not built by the Bantu tribesmen as claimed by the conventional academic wisdom (their equivalent to our conventional wisdom that the structures in NE were built by white settlers) I would not agree with age of the structures that these people claim. Lots to think about here, and you can itake the evidence and fit it into your own framework.
          I was totally amazed when I used Google Earth to look at the structures. I highly recomment it. Just go to these four points and start looking around.
Carolina -- 25 55' 53.28" S / 30 16' 13.13" E Badplaas -- 25 47' 33.45" S / 30 40' 38.76" E Waterval -- 25 38' 07.82" S / 30 21' 18.79" E Machadodorp -- 25 39' 22.42" S / 30 17' 03.25" E
     My hunch is these are Bronze Age structures that were used for mining gold, diamonds and other ores. Many ancient mine shafts have been found in the same area as the structures.
     I enjoy your blog and Rock Piles.
     Best regards,
                     D____ from Delaware

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rock structures, interpreted as:

Figure 9.  Dummy hunters.  These stacked rock features are located atop the north-facing ridge on the volcanic tablelands above Renegade Canyon.  Photo by Bill Wight.

“Great numbers of Indians were …required. … (and) they were compelled…to build rows of dummy hunters out of stones, along the ridge-tops which they wished to prevent the sheep from crossing.  And without discrediting the sagacity of the game, these dummies were found effective; for with a few live Indians moving about excitedly among them, they could hardly be distinguished at a little distance from men, by anyone not in on the secret.  The whole ridgetop then seemed alive with archers.” – Muir (1898:321-322)

"Bighorn hunts were conducted in a variety of ways 76.  The analog for the Coso pattern are communal hunts, surrounding sheep, driving them into enclosures or nets, guiding the sheep with fire and dogs, and running the sheep past hidden hunters 77.  Stewart notes that hunters would also occasionally make loud noises – pounding objects together to imitate the clash of rams in battle… (Paradigm Shifts, Rock Art Studies, and the “Coso Sheep Cult” of Eastern California
By Alan P. Garfinkel, Ph.D. September 2007)
John Muir: "The Modoc and Pah Ute Indians are, or rather have been, the most successful hunters of the wild sheep in the regions that have come under my own observation. I have seen large numbers of heads and horns in the caves of Mount Shasta and the Modoc lava-beds, where the Indians had been feasting in stormy weather; also in the canyons of the Sierra opposite Owen's Valley; while the heavy obsidian arrow-heads found on some of the highest peaks show that this warfare has long been going on.
In the more accessible ranges that stretch across the desert regions of western Utah and Nevada, considerable numbers of Indians used to hunt in company like packs of wolves, and being perfectly acquainted with the topography of their hunting grounds, and with the habits and instincts of the game, they were pretty successful. On the tops of nearly every one of the Nevada mountains that I have visited, I found small, nest-like enclosures built of stones, in which, as I afterward learned, one or more Indians would lie in wait while their companions scoured the ridges below, knowing that the alarmed sheep would surely run to the summit, and when they could be made to approach with the wind they were shot at short range.
Still larger bands of Indians used to make extensive hunts upon some dominant mountain much frequented by the sheep, such as Mount Grant on the Wassuck Range to the west of Walker Lake. On some particular spot, favorably situated with reference to the well-known trails of the sheep, they built a high-walled corral, with long guiding wings diverging from the gateway; and into this inclosure they sometimes succeeded in driving the noble game. Great numbers of Indians were of course required, more, indeed, than they could usually muster, counting in squaws, children, and all; they were compelled, therefore, to build rows of dummy hunters out of stones, along the ridge-tops which they wished to prevent the sheep from crossing. And, without discrediting the sagacity of the game, these dummies were found effective; for, with a few live Indians moving about excitedly among them, they could hardly be distinguished at a little distance from men, by any one not in the secret. The whole ridge-top then seemed to be alive with hunters."
Pendleton and Thomas: The Fort Sage Drift Fence, Washoe County, Nevada
Journal Issue:
Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, 5(2)
Raymond, Anan, Dept. of Anthropology, Washington State Univ.
Publication Date:
Publication Info:
Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, UC Merced Library, UC Merced

The Fort Sage Drift Fence, Washoe County,
Nevada. Lorann S. A. Pendleton and
David Hurst Thomas. New York: American
Museum of Natural History Anthropological
Papers. Vol. 58: Part 2, 1983.
Reviewed by ANAN RAYMOND
Dept. of Anthropology
Washington State Univ.
Pullman, WA 99164
      It is difficult to accurately interpret the age and function of surface rock alignments and their association with nearby lithic scatters. Pendleton and Thomas wrestle with this problem at the Fort Sage Drift Fence, concluding that this alignment helped prehistoric hunters intercept and dispatch pronghorn antelope and/or bighorn sheep.
          The Fort Sage Drift Fence is an 1800 m.-long rock alignment 20 to 80 cm. high.
[1800 meters = 5905.5 feet. 20cm converts into 7.87 inches, which is more than 1/2 foot but less than one foot. 80 cm = 2.6 feet (2ft and 4in.)]        Traversing three low hills, the alignment includes ten apparently intentional gaps, three of which occur where drainages bisect the fence. The walls are constructed of basalt boulders that appear (from the photographs) to be derived from nearby bedrock outcroppings and the adjacent hillside...

       In the second part of the paper Pendleton and Thomas provide a valuable discussion on the interpretation of such a large hunting feature. Rather than emphasize specific behaviors indicated in the flaked stone artifacts, they concentrate on the strategy reflected by the rock alignment. Pendleton and Thomas discuss two basic hunting strategies, "encounter" and "intercept," that may have been used prehistorically. An encounter strategy is suited to dispersed populations of game animals that move unpredictably. An intercept hunting strategy provides an efficient means to ambush game that may congregate seasonally and "migrate" in a predictable pattern.
     An intercept strategy employs natural (e.g., ridges, drainages) and artificial (e.g., rock alignments, brush barriers) features to direct the animals' movement to the hunters' advantage. As a technique of intensifying resources, intercept strategies will often incorporate features with high archaeological visibility such as rock alignments, fish weirs, and bison jumps, while the archaeological remains of encounter hunts usually consist of little more than isolated losses (e.g., projectile points).
     Pendleton and Thomas then discuss how the distribution of local deer, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn antelope populations might have conditioned the hunting strategy in the Fort Sage area. They also review ethnographic accounts of encounter and intercept hunting of these three game species. They conclude that the Fort Sage Drift Fence functioned in an intercept strategy to dispatch groups of pronghorn antelope and/or bighorn sheep moving in response to seasonal availability of browse and forage.
Pendleton and Thomas also speculate on how the Fort Sage site reflects a general model of hunter-gatherer subsistence and settlement (Binford 1980; Thomas 1983). They argue that the Fort Sage Drift Fence was labor intensive. However, for a highly mobile foraging strategy, the cost of constructing the alignment outweighs the advantage of simply moving to the animals. On the other hand, a less mobile "logistical" subsistence strategy will obtain resources through a network of specialized and relatively permanent task sites in areas of high resource density and predictability.
      They suggest that as a permanent and labor intensive facility, the Fort Sage Drift Fence implies a predictable and successful hunting strategy that was "logistically" organized.
        After reviewing the antiquity of rock alignment hunting facilities in the Great Basin, Pendleton and Thomas suggest that high-cost permanent hunting features, and the logistic subsistence strategy implied by them, became less important in the protohistoric period. They cite a lack of "permanent" hunting features during the protohistoric period, to support their argument. However, they may be confusing construction materials with permanence. The ethnographic Steward 1938) and archaeological (Raymond 1982; Frison 1978) literature attest to the recency of large tree-and-brush game procurement facilities. The alignments at Fort Sage may not have been constructed with trees and brush because basalt boulders were more accessible.
     This study deserves attention by all interested in approaches to the analysis of surface sites, especially hunting features. Furthermore, the report, like much of Thomas's work, shows how the archaeological record can provide interesting glimpses of prehistoric behavior.

Binford, Lewis R.
1980 Willow Smoke and Dogs' Tails; Hunter-Gatherer Settlement Systems and Archaeological Site Formation. American Antiquity 8:281-290.

Frison, George C. 1978 Prehistoric Hunters of the High Plains. New York; Academic Press.

Raymond, Anan 1982 Two Historic Aboriginal Game Drive Enclosures in the Eastern Great Basin. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 4(l);23-33.

Steward, Julian H. 1938 Basin-Plateau Aboriginal Sociopolitical Groups. Washington, D.C: Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin No. 120.

Thomas, D. H.
1983 The Archaeology of Monitor Valley I; Epistemology.
New York: American Museum of Natural History Anthropological Papers 58(1).

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rocky Point Cemetery

"Rock feature/petroform-- any feature consisting of arranged but unmortared and unaltered stones,
including rock alignments, cairns, stone walls, boulder mosaics, stone effigies, stone circles
("tipi rings"), etc. See also Fish weir."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"What is it?"

I pondered this question at Somewhere along the Klamath by asking "What is it?"
Maybe it is a "luck basin/rock bowl/rock basket:"
"Besides being prominent in the context of sweathouse practices generally (see chapter 4), crying was a recurrent theme in spoken formulas for wealth. In some examples, a spirit-person's crying produced some distinctive feature of the natural landscape, which then became a place where humans could make medicine (also by crying). Thus for example there is a rock formation at Trinidad Head which is identified by the Yurok name "He Sits Forever." This marks the spot where a spirit-person went to cry and ask for money. Gradually, he began to see dentalium shells swimming in the tidepools as if they were fish. He was mesmerized by this vision and sat there watching the money swim around until he turned into stone himself. This became a mythic event that humans could reenact while making medicine at that spot (Waterman 1920:270).
     This medicine was to be used at a special "luck basin" that Shoemaker knew about. This term refers to a basinlike depression in a rock formation, and the Hupa word for it is translated into English as "rock bowl" or "rock basket" (Golla, in press [MS p. 214]). The use of a luck basin for success in gambling is described as follows:
  When you find such a place you must "smoke" it with incense root and speak to it. You smoke it for ten days and talk to it about the people you're going to gamble with, and how many points you want to make in a stretch, and so on. Then you clap your hands to it, and leave some incense root in it. When you are ready to gamble, you go up to it and rub your hands with the incense root. (Golla, in press [MS p. 213])"

Keeling, Richard. Cry for Luck: Sacred Song and Speech Among the Yurok, Hupa, and Karok Indians of Northwestern California. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1992 1992.

Yurok Indian Spirituality

[on Klamath river , in Humboldt county, CA], 4
Yu-rok "spoke ... sa.>agoh, one of only two known Algonkin languages west of the Rockies. (The second is Wiyot, ... spoken ... to the south.)"
"They were the "human beings," >o.lekwoh, "the ones who stay here" after the wo.gey, the Spirit People or First People, had invented culture and ... departed at the beginning of "Indian Time." Some early American visitors called these >o.lekwoh "the Allequa"; Yuroks came to call the whites wo.gey". {cf. the Aztec belief that the European were the departed folk of Quetzalcoatl; and the Quechua belief that the Europeans were the departed folk of Viracocha}
"seeking the aid of Lightning and of the ten Thunder Brothers, the spiritual allies ... . ... In the wintertime, when it thundered and the lightning just kept on and on ... – then they’d take a boat ... and drag it down to the gravel bar to see if the lightning ... would give them strength here on earth ... . Now, ... there’s different kinds of thunder and some of it sounds like trailing gravel, [at] the end. That’s when ... you ... Take the boat and drag it along the gravel bar to see if it will please the Thunder ... . Then he gives them part of his strength."
"some Hupas training ... customarily slept in a cleft in a rock near the village of Matildon ... through the night as they sought spiritual aid ... . Others seeking power ... ran in the hills at night and knew that they’d "got it" if lightning struck and split a tree near them. ...
When spirits appear unbidden, in a dream for instance, they come to announce that a person has a certain option, or potential. It is now up to that person to realize this potential through application of will power ... . A person might dream of powerful beings or a place where "power" is available, for instance, but it remains to obtain the spirit’s blessings and to bring them under control."
"He’d started training ... to spend the night on a downed tree that hung over a creek".
"Certain Yurok men once acquired guardian spirits through training and medicine-making that imbued they with bravery ... . They were called weskweloy, a word that made reference to the style in which they alone were privileged to wear their hair ... . These ... got their powers through ... vision questing in the winter, usually in the ocean near great rock formations – seastacks – or in riverine whirlpools, in lakes and other places that gave them access to the Thunders. In the waters they encountered the Thunders or one of the water monsters called ka.mes or a sa>al, a bad ghost-spirit that lives in a spring and brings disease. Some trained in the lower hills and mountains and in the hollow or cleft rocks there. ... Falling unconscious, men travel to the underworld to the house of the Thunders, overcoming ferocious guardians – panthers, rattlesnakes – and entering to be cut up into pieces, cooked, and reassembled as weskweloy."
"luck came to him through a stone talisman that he obtained from a spring in the mountains after hard training. Once men made luck medicine in other watery place as well, such as an ocean pothole near Big Lagoon. They might train specifically for hunting or fishing luck, diving down in the Klamath to touch a special rock or making medicine at a "wishing place" in the mountains, where a pure man could hear the barking of hunting dog spirits ... . ... these dog-spirits as being wo., "ancient" or "holy," ... "You hear them barking, a-way off. It’s deep.""
"going into the mountains to seek the pity and aid of supernatural forces" : "They know you’re worthy of it. Otherwise ... there’d be no tears. ... if you have this feeling that the forces blessed you, the you’re a worthy person
"you fast for ten days and then on the tenth day you go there and clap your hands and you tell this rock what you want and then if you hear the echo you’re going to get your wish."
"a qualified person can go to Doctor Rock, a place associated with the most powerful shamans, to pray ... for high powers, such as those for doctoring".
"the correct procedure is "to announce yourself. Say who you are, where you’re from, what you want." A man should go "where a rock runs out. ... You sit there, you have your fire in front of you; you stay there all night."
"as a man sits before his small fire he prays and ... when he has attained the proper spiritual state he claps his hands, listening for a clear, ricocheting echo : "The men go there and sit in the [prayer] seat there. Then after a while they clap their hands, and if the echo comes back clear they know they have what they’ve prayed for ... ." Other men shout, listening for an echo."
"A person who is well prepared ... can go into the "high country," the physically and spiritually highest mountains. He will encounter spiritual beings associated with specific places, and they will teach him – "talk to him." ... these beings are immemorial spirits ... . ... training really ultimately means just sitting down with spiritual beings and talking with them."
"A person might meet spirits in the mountains and "sit right down and talk with them," or he night meet them after returning home ... . "Maybe after you come back from the mountains, some night in your home, you wake up ... . There are spirits in the room and it’s full of light. They’ll teach you ... .""
"transformative experience" : "Going into a trance in a "prayer seat" in the high mountains, he saw, as though through a tunnel, a small hole of light opening into a meadow ... in the sky ... . {This is a common form of "near-death experience".} A spiritual being took him up into the world above. He saw people there, "all in the prime of life – about thirty-five years." ...
He knew this to be the "beauty world," where the spirits of trained people go at death, waiting, he told me, for the time when they would come back to earth in new forms. He was guided back to the seat by one of the spirit beings, and when returned to his body in the prayer seat he knew what "beauty" truly was, and "walked in beauty."" {"Beauty" is a common perception in spiritual enlightenment.}
" "High men" and women who are doctors are said to be able to return to the mountain precincts ... later, without leaving the lowland villages, through out-of-the-body travel." Legend "told ... about a hero who "left something like his picture at home while he traveled to the end of the world" ... . [One informant] said that he commonly traveled out of his body to the place where his medicine was, in the inland mountains, and ... yet another spoke of retrieving medicine from an inland lake while physically remaining in the sweathouse at Pecwan."
Thomas Buckley : Standing Ground : Yurok Indian Spirituality. U of CA Pr, Berkeley, 2002.

Hehlkik kiti ni nu hegok'

(Thinking of stones in Northern California: )
Hehl-keek kee-tee nee nue he-gok'.
I'm going to the high country.
— Reference: YLCB108 | Yurok audio: GT3-28-04.mp3
The Supreme Being of Yurok mythology is called Card; he created all things, and gave them their language, and now lives in the mountains. Anyone who will for the space of ten or fifteen days eat only acorn soup and think only of him will have good fortune and get rich, and when he goes out hunting will find a white deer—the highest earthly object of desire to a Yurok. (Powers 1877 [1976]:64)

"It would be virtually impossible to list every feature of the natural environment which was regarded as a spiritual entity according to aboriginal belief. All of nature was thought to have been shaped through incidents that occurred in the period before humans existed, and in their modern form not only the plants and animals but even the trails were believed to have "feelings" and power to influence human life...all over the region, walking trails were regarded as conscious beings, and in traveling the Indian had to observe certain rules in order to avoid insulting them. It was considered wrong, for example, to step out of a trail and in again without making some gesture of respect, and indeed the traveler had to observe many such customs. There were certain places where it was expected that a person would stop and rest while using a trail, whether he was tired or not, and there the Indian was often supposed to speak a prayer. There were other places where the traveler was expected to make a certain offering. In some instances, this meant dropping a twig or branch where trails crossed one another, while in others the Indian was supposed to shoot an arrow into certain sacred trees so as to assure good luck.
The twig dropping is best described by Powers, who writes,
They have a curious custom of dropping twigs and boughs at the junction of trails, which sometimes accumulate in heaps several feet high, like the nests of woodrats. Every Indian who passes deposits a twig on the pile, but without observing any method that a white man can discover. No one will explain the custom, though it is probably observed, like so many other things, merely "for luck." (Powers, 1877 [1976]:58)
The annotated maps in Waterman (1920) identify a number of special locations that were known as places where a Yurok person could pray or ask for help, and the following examples give an indication of their character:
1. A certain place on Bald Hills where there is an echo. One goes there to shout for help and the response tells whether or not the spirit will help (1920:197).
2. A rock offshore from Wilson Creek (False Klamath Rock). One of the wo'gey came to live in this rock, and he invites people to cry and ask for money while looking at the place (1920:230).
3. A place on the coast near the village of Omen. People would look around in the saltwater here for rocks to make arrowheads. After shaping them, they would "cook" the points by speaking a formula over them, after which they would be strong enough to shoot right through an elk (1920:233).
4. A submerged rock in the Klamath River (Posir Rock), just upstream from Ah Pah Creek. This rock was a "charm" for snaring deer. The hunter would dive underwater to touch it, and then he rubbed his hands upon the snares, which guaranteed a catch (1920:238).
5. A large rock in the Klamath River below Pekwan. Pelintsiek ("Great Dentalium") used to live in the water here. In passing the rock by canoe, one stops alongside it in midstream, there clapping the hands and speaking a short prayer for luck (1920: 243).
6. A certain rock formation near the village of Merip. Arrowheads were placed in a cleft in the rock, and there they became "rusted" or covered with a poison that made them certain to kill (1920:250).
7. A point of rocks on Trinidad Head. The Yurok name for this rock formation is translated "He Sits Forever." A man went there to cry for luck and ask for money. Then he saw dentalium shells in the water, numerous as sardines. He sat there looking and refusing to leave until he gradually turned to stone (1920:270).
8. A cave at Trinidad Head. Its Yurok name has been translated "Where it Drops (or Trickles)." People went inside this damp cave to pray for money. If one drop fell on a person, then he would soon become wealthy. But if two fell upon him, then the rock would close up and he would never escape (1920:270).

Waterman felt that the Yurok had an unusually large number of named places within their territory, by comparison with other North American Indians, and he said that his monograph contained only about one half the places that might have been indicated if there were adequate time or space to include them clearly on the maps (1920:195). This very intensive view of the surrounding landscape was something which also impressed Powers, who commented on the care with which this information was transmitted from one generation to the next.

The boundaries of all tribes . . . are marked with the greatest precision, being defined by certain creeks, canyons, boulders, conspicuous trees, springs, etc., each of which has its own individual name. Accordingly, the squaws teach these things to their children in a kind of sing-song. . . . Over and over, time and again, they rehearse all these boulders, etc., describing each minutely and by name, with its surroundings. Then, when the children are old enough, they take them around . . . and so faithful has been their instruction, that [the children] generally recognize the objects from the descriptions given them previously by their mothers. (Powers 1877 [1976]:109-110)
Of all the spiritual beings recognized by the Yuroks, none was more important than the wo'gey , for it was they who had originated nearly every form of medicine making and whose continued help the Indians needed if public and private rituals were to be effective...When Indians came, the wo'gey took refuge in trees, rocks, springs, and other places. Because humans built homes along the river, many of the spirit-persons went into the upper ridges to live, and this is why Indians traditionally go to the high country to make medicine...It was mainly the aristocratic Indians who trained in the sweat-house and made medicine in the high country. These were often intellectuals who traveled widely to gain knowledge of other Indian peoples and took pride in speaking languages other than their own.
This identification with the sacred landscape is revealed in a remark made by Florence Schaughnessy (Yurok) in describing the beauty of the high country.

You come across a place you've never seen before, and it has awesome beauty. Everything above you, below you, and around you is so pure—that is the beauty we call merwerksergerh , and the pure person is also merwerksergerh . (Matthiessen 1979:62)

If a person wants to tell me something, let him come up into the hills in the evening and stay all night. Let him take tobacco with him, and angelica root, only those two. And he must be careful of himself before he does that: he must get sweathouse wood, and drink no water, and go with no women. Then, I shall answer him if he calls my name .
        Instructions from a wo'gey on how to pray in the high country ( Kroeber 1976:291)

As noted previously, it was believed that the wo'gey went to live in the hills when Indians arrived, for the humans built their villages at lower elevations close to the rivers. A person had to make special preparations for praying in the high country...When a person finally made this lonely journey and built a campfire up on the ridge, he or she would have to stay up all night, because it was considered dangerous to sleep up there. There was a wind, some said, which could suck away the body of a person who fell asleep, leaving only the skeleton (Matthiessen 1979:61).
Beliefs concerning the high country are splendidly illustrated in a story told by Robert Spott, who was Kroeber's main source for information about Yurok spiritual practices (Spott and Kroeber 1942:167-169). The narrative begins with a lengthy description of Sregon Jim, a man who seems to have personified Yurok ideals of wealth and fierce manliness in the eyes of Sport.
These were the things that made Sregon Jim a man of substance, by Yurok standards. However, this account really concerns an ancestor of his, probably his great-grandfather.[2] He was reputed to have had ten wives, and through praying in the high country he not only received wealth for himself but also a miraculous power through which his descendants could obtain money for generations to come.
This patriarch used to train on a sacred mountain about one and a half day's hike northward from Sregon. On the peak of this mountain there was a stone enclosure[3] with this highly unusual property: if a person sat inside the enclosure he would hear water dripping, as if he were inside a cave. The water would drip and strike the ground with a ringing sound, and yet it was hard to tell exactlyherbs. Sealing the crevice, they also covered the rock with dead leaves, and spread leaves around to hide their footprints as well.
where the ringing came from as drops struck the ground. The man had been coming here for many summers until finally the following incident occurred:
Then, the last time, as he was sitting there, he heard the water drip and ring twice, seemingly in front of himself. He wiped his tears away—because they mostly cry on such an occasion, cleared off the grass, and saw a shiny gray rock. He began to rub this, and it slid to the side like a cover. Underneath it was a hole about the size of a can, with blue or green water in it. He felt around in the water with two fingers and there was something very slippery, like a lamprey eel but smaller. . . . Finally, he got hold of it, took it out, and laid it in some manzanita-limb shavings . . . which he had in a keyem basket. Then he saw that the thing was of stone and shaped like a deer, with horns. (Spott and Kroeber 1942:168)

Later, when they were by themselves, the young man and his grandfather went together up to the oak tree. After examining the thing carefully, they then took it to a certain rock formation, about three-fourths of a mile back from the river. They placed it in a crevice along with angelica root, shredded manzanita, and other
They cried all the while, and did not tell the other men what had happened for many days afterward. According to Spott, this was how Sregon Jim's ancestor had assured the family wealth. The thing that he had found was called a tsemmin ,[4] and it had many lucky properties. Not only would it tend to attract valuable property ("as if it came of itself"), but it also brought deer close by where they lived, and because of this tsemmin the doctors in the family were summoned often and handsomely paid for their services.
Actual use of the tsemmin was described as follows:
Sometimes he would go to where it was and smoke. He would strike his tobacco pouch, wish for luck, fill his pipe, and blow the crumbs of tobacco out of his palm toward the tsemmin . . . . All this he did before he was married. After he was married he did not go near it anymore, except sometimes when he lost his luck in hunting; then he would stand in front of the rock where the tsemmin was hidden and would clap his hands. This hand-clapping is called we-terkterpterwerk . This was something a woman may not do, except a doctor who is seeking power. When he had done this his hunting luck always returned. It was this same young man who later had ten wives. (Spott and Kroeber 1942:169)
...the Indian went up to the mountains in order to shout and cry for help, and the goal in both instances was to establish a permanent connection with the wo'gey world. For the Sregon man, this meant bringing back the tsemmin and placing it in a rock close to his village...
The high country has a special importance in this relationship, and during the late 1970s an elderly Yurok woman named Ella Norris described its significance in these words:

Red Mountain? Doctor Rock? That's our Holy Land. Everything we done, we went there, for prayer. They'd go there for different things. If you wanted to be a good stick player, or a gambler, [or whatever]. Different places, too. Not just right on Doctor Rock. Doctor Rock is just a place for Indians, for a woman or man that wants to be a doctor. Just like a white man doctor [there are different kinds of doctor]. Some of them is for surgery, [and] some of them is for something else. Well that's the same thing. They go there [to Doctor Rock], and they get their degree. Not only for Indian doctor. Some of them got a special prayer for boils, or for choke, and some of them used to get poisoned. Their stomache would swell up. They got a special song for that. Or a prayer. Or your eyes get sore. Or just a million things. They learn that up there. (interview at Crescent City, November 13, 1979)
...tsekteya or tsekwel in Yurok (Kroeber 1976:381)...known in English as "stone seats" or "stone chairs." They are semicircular walls built of unmortared stones, piled about three or four feet high. These were made as places to cry and shout for help, especially for female Indian doctors seeking to obtain their power-enabling vision. There are photographs of a similar structure in Kroeber and Gifford (1949:143)."
Keeling, Richard. Cry for Luck: Sacred Song and Speech Among the Yurok, Hupa, and Karok Indians of Northwestern California. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1992 1992.