Friday, April 29, 2016

Chaco Masonry Snakes

Here’s the photo in my Face Book feed (as they say) that caught my eye, a photo by John Normile In-Sites: Pre-Columbian Architecture of the American Southwest:
    It’s on this group’s page:
    My eye was drawn to a certain segment of a course of stone, for all the usual reasons that cause a person to tend to say, “I think that stone (or row of stones) looks like something,” in this case a snake.
    Well, all the reasons plus one or two. People don’t usually point out a similarity to snakes in the famous and iconic Stone Walls of New England and especially in the retaining walls or the foundation of old houses that were once on the edge of the Indian Frontier, when that Frontier was still a wilderness and only known by the local Indigenous People known as Indians and/or Native Americans.
    Well, I do point out that similarity here in Connecticut and I do it more and more often in the last few years, thinking I’m seeing a repeated pattern of Indigenous Iconography in stone walls that are assumed to be everything but Indigenous in origin.
    This morning I’m wondering, not for the first time, if anyone has ever suggested that the stone stacking technique in “Pre-Columbian Architecture of the American Southwest” might be related to snakes. Is this segment of stones, cropped from the photo above, a representation of a snake? 
     An overlay “painting” I just made to emphasize what I mean:
      I’m waiting for permission to use the above photo, find out if it is indeed a photo from Chaco Canyon and all the other details. I suspect it may not be too far from a good example of a snake petroglyph.
      And yes I’m looking for other examples of snakes in the stonework.
      And, yes, it’s not that hard to find some others.
     And I don’t know, as I said, if anyone else has ever suggested such a thing.
     Travel those ancient trade routes southward, to the places where corn, beans and tobacco came from and you will find places where snakes show up in Indigenous Architecture, some easy to see, some not.
      Ask yourself, “If they exist in Indigenous stonework there, then why not here in the American Southwest?”
     Ask yourself, “Why not then in what may be Indigenous stonework in Connecticut and elsewhere in New England?”

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