Sunday, March 24, 2013

Iniskim (Buffalo Calling Stones)

Iniskim (Buffalo Calling Stones)
"Although our people began to live as makoyi (wolves)had shown them, life was still very hard and the people were often hungry. One day iinii (buffalo) took pity on our people.

A lady named Weasel Woman was collecting water from a river near her camp when she heard something calling to her from the bushes. When she looked closer, she found a stone that spoke to her. The stone explained how it could be used in a ceremony that would call the buffalo towards a pisskan (buffalo jump).

Weasel Woman took the iniskim, the buffalo calling stone, back to camp. She told the spiritual leaders about the ceremony to call the buffalo. The people followed her instructions and soon they had plenty of meat and many hides for new lodge covers.

There are numerous iniskim on the prairies. Many people still keep them as sacred bundles. We call on iniskim to help us have successful lives."

"Majorville Medicine Wheel (Iniskim Umaapi) provides a record of place where Blackfoot ritual activity links the present with the past and the past to the future. Iniskim (buffalo calling stones) are a central element of Blackfoot ceremonial activity and are present in exposed bedrock formations below the medicine wheel and have been recovered from archaeological excavations at the central cairn. Offerings of sweetgrass, sage, willow, cloth, tobacco, prayer and song which symbolically maintain the link of contemporary people with their ancestors continue to be left at the monument. Archaeological studies indicate this site has been continuously used for the last 4,500 years, making this one of the oldest religious monuments in the world. Artifacts were deposited in the cairn in an accretional fashion, like layers in an onion, with the oldest materials on the inside and the more recent materials towards the outside. Excavation demonstrates the sequence of use mirrors that known from other site types in the area, an indication that Majorville medicine wheel was an element of in-place Plains spiritual culture for millennia." 

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 724)
 "Iniskim Fossil, like those collected by the Blackfeet and used as fetishes."
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1 comment:

  1. To learn much more about this extremely sacred site, please read HIDDEN STONEHENGE: Ancient Temple in North America Reveals the Key to Ancient Wonders (Watkins Publishing, London, 2012). The title was made up by the English Publisher, but the book is mainly about the Majorville site, which my wife and I have lived on for a total of 8 months during the last 36 years. It is a very spread-out Temple to the Sun, Moon, and Morningstar, with astonishing features.