Monday, November 24, 2014

Serpent Gateway

     "Wake, children of Ge-nun-de-wah! The tradition of the Seneca Indians, in regard to their birth, is, that they broke out of the earth from a large mountain at the head of Canandaigua Lake, and that mountain they still venerate as the place of their birth; thence they derive their name, "Ge-nun-de-wah," or Great Hill, and are called, "The Great Hill People," which is the true definition of the word Seneca. The great hill at the head of Canandaigua Lake from whence they sprung, is called Ge-nun-de-wah, and has for a long time past been the place where the Indians of that nation met in council, to hold great talks, and to offer up prayers to the Great Spirit, on account of its having been their birthplace; and also in consequence of the destruction of a serpent at that placce in ancient time, in a most miraculous manner, which threatened the whole of the Senecas, and barely spared enough to commence replenishing the earth. The Indians say that the Fort on the Big Hill or Ge-nun-de-wah, near the head of Canandaigua Lake, was surrounded by a monstrous serpent, whose head and tail came together at the gate. A long time it lay there, confounding the people with its breath. At length they attempted to make their escape, some with their hominy-blocks, and others with different implements of household furniture; and in marching out of the fort, walked down the throat of the serpent. Two orphan children, who had escaped this general destruction by being left some time before on the outside of the fort, were informed by an oracle, of the means by which they could get rid of their formidable enemy; which was, to take a small bow and a poisoned arrow, made of a kind of willow, and with that shoot the serpent under its scales. This they did. and the arrow proved effectual; for on its penetrating the skin, the serpent became sick, and, extending itself, rolled down the hill, destroying all the timber that was in its way. At every motion a human head was discharged, and rolled down the hill into the lake, where they lie at this day in a petrified state, having the hardness and appearance of stones; and the pagan Indians of the Senecas believe that all the little snakes were made of the blood nf the great serpent after it rolled into the lake. To this day the Indians visit that sacred place to mourn the loss of their friends, and to celebrate some rites that are peculiar to themselves. To the knowledge of white people there has been no timber on the Great Hill since it was first discovered by them, though it lay apparently in a state of nature for a great number of years, without cultivation. Stones in the shape of Indians' heads may be seen lying in the lake in great plenty, which are said to be the same that were deposited there at the death of the serpent." (page 354)
The Poetical Works of William H. C. Hosmer, Volume 1 (Google eBook)
William Howe Cuyler Hosmer
Redfield, 1854 - Indians of North America

Another Possible Serpent Gateway
Washington CT
(Looking East)

Above:1965 aerial photo.
Below: 1965 photo with a little enhancing of the rows of stones and the Gateway.

The Gateway: it is possible that the large stone has been moved from the center of the gap, blocking the view of the head of the possible snake effigy to the left or north of the gateway gap. It is possible that on the other side of the gap, some might interpret the large rounded stone as similar to an egg in the jaws of another possible Great Serpent or perhaps as the Serpent's tail…

Slightly more than half a kilometer, over a third of a mile, you could say the area outlined in yellow above is close to 2,000 feet worth of a stone wall perimeter with some very interesting features, such as capstones that more resemble petroform turtles rather than quarried blocks of stone.

Does it keep something in or does it keep something out?
Could it work as a hunting trap? Was fire used inside to drive animals out ward toward the gap? Was fire used outside of the rectangle to drive animals into the trap?
Was it a resource zone of a certain plant, herb, or tree? A certain animal?
Did it surround a house site?
 Was it defensive in nature?

LiDar image crop:

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