Friday, October 14, 2011

Moravian Village with "Cellar" or Maybe a Sweatlodge

"One option for the miscellaneous items situated around the two leader’s homes is a small sweat lodge, or what is sometimes referred to as a stone cellar. The stone cellar formation is found in and about the Dutchess and Putnam county areas, and typically is a small collection of stones, many times with the appearance that there is a well-formed foundation to crawl into between the stone walls. In some cases these structures are completely above ground. Other times they are built into hill or a cliff face. Numerous theories have been given for the uses of these formation, logical reasons for their construction. In the Mahican settlement it is possible that these “cellars” served as places for one to undergo a personal spiritual experience, or perhaps a simple cleansing, like that done in a sweat lodge...We typically don’t expect to hear about the ability to practice the Native American ritual sweat lodge experience, but with Moravians by their side instead of other missionary leaders, perhaps the use of the sweat lodge or stone cellar was allowed.  Evidence suggesting this was the case, although questionable due to its fairly late recollection, is the accounts of stone piles seen along some part of the Shekomeko setting, which a local boy said he thought was linked to the use of a sweat lodge... For more on colonial stone cellars and root cellars, see:"

Stone Chamber. Town of Kent, NY by  Halberd

A little detail strikes me, a little "cultural motif" I see here and there on Turtle Island:
I think that rounded reddish stone, topped by what might be interperted as "marginal scutes," might be a turtle's head, a suggestion of an eye and a possible beak, like these two stones here in Woodbury CT below...

Turtle outline

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