Friday, July 17, 2015

Pondering a Possible Panther Petroform at Pomperaug Plantation (Woodbury CT)

    I can't tell you exactly where this is, but  it's my first stone feature find that may well be a representation (or petroform) of the Spirit Being sometimes known as the Underwater Panther or Great Lynx, a variation of a Great or Horned Serpent. I wouldn't want it to be too tempting to some fool who might want to either steal it or otherwise compromise the structure looking for non-existent treasure (which may explain why it already looks a bit disturbed) and risk the horrible fate that comes from such behavior.
      While this observer has noted single large boulder stones that suggest the heads of snakes, more and more there seem to be sometimes as well several stone heads at these junctions and along the rows of stones as well. Some examples are illustrated here:
    In the lower right hand corner of the photo above there is a large boulder that suggests a possible (probable) snake or Serpent head stone, but my attention was caught by another stone that at first this observer took as a possible bear’s head effigy:
     No need to overlay any eyes or even a brow ridge above them, highlight details of the snout and nose, there is a great degree of possibility that this stone may well have been humanly enhanced – visible even in this is rather fuzzy photo image:
    Still thinking “Bear,” I tried some tricks in a photo program to try to fix the next photo I took, even resorting to an imitation watercolor version:
   Trying a sepia version suddenly changed this observers identification of exactly what sort of animal effigy was being portrayed; seeing the reddish tones suddenly led to the possibility - and probability - that this stone more closely resembles a panther head:
     And the word “Panther” is intentionally used here, rather than all those other names that the Puma Concolor is also known by. There is a slight possibly pecked and polished drawn back ear in the stone representation, but there is also another recessed depression that may have been added to the stone perhaps, just as some serpent head stones exhibit, suggesting perhaps a socket for horns that suggest the “Horned Serpent of Indigenous Myth and Legend,” as they say.
      Add some horns to this Panther head (which I could have easily imitated by moving around and strategically placing some branches if I had realized it when I was standing there) and step back, looking at the undulating stone wall up above the South Brook, rhomboidal stones recalling scales perhaps, other possible effigies apparent rather than in a Europen style of stacking or random placement. Imagine those horns and think of inter-twined Serpents.
    And recall another Spirit Being, another type of Great Horned Serpent perhaps, known as the Underwater Panther, Mishipeshu or Mishibijiw in Ojibwe or Maxa'xâk in Lenni Lenape (also known a “Delaware”).
Some “Great Lynxs” (spelled like that because Mishipeshu can translate into "the Great Lynx"):
“To the Algonquins, the underwater panther was the most powerful underworld being. The Ojibwe traditionally held them to be masters of all water creatures, including snakes. Some versions of the Nanabozho creation legend refer to whole communities of water lynx.”


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