Saturday, March 11, 2017

Uktena the Strong Looker or Egg in Mouth Snake? (Bethlehem CT)

Roadside Stone Great Serpent on an Outcrop

      “How could I have missed that?” I thought to myself as I pulled over. “There’s another example of the Great Serpent variation I've come to call the "Uktena" style, with its head turned slightly toward the trail, that long collar like stone that looks like an antler rest, and even a sugar loaf shaped stone as a “jewel” on top of the Serpent’s head.”
    Looking at at the stone structure from this perspective, in this light, I can’t help but see this as a Great Serpent along an old Indian Trail, now a modern road, “hidden in plain sight,” like so may others, assumed to be modern constructions related to European agriculture, unrecognized as Indigenous creations, Ceremonial Stone Features on the Sacred Cultural Landscape of Turtle Island:

    "Finally, I’d say that while many stone features have been destroyed, there are still thousands left. They are hiding in our back yards, in our state forests, along our waterways—everywhere in plain sight. Help others realize why they should be respectful of these when they find them, help them imagine what it might mean to have a religiously-important structure (e.g. something built to honor someone in your family) technically belong to someone else, or be at risk from vandals, pot-hunters, and developers. These stone structures are examples of how humans found a way to interact respectfully and in a mutually-beneficial way with nature. They are Natural Cultural nodes, blueprints for how we will need to think in the future if we are to survive and allow our natural world survive. They are important beyond the specific, and they should give us hope," writes Lisa McLoughlin of the Nolumbeka Project.

     But as I pulled forward, I found that I was seeing an illusion, a trick of the eye that also speaks to the artistic skill of the creator (or creators) of the Stone Serpent basking in the sun, its body draped across a bedrock outcrop. 
   But there’s structure to the construction from this angle, a dark shadow perhaps a snake eye, the stones stacked as if to resemble scales from a short distance, maybe even a snake with an egg in its mouth:
     A look back to autumn of 2014, an eye added to bring the Great Stone Serpent to life:
More from the Flickr Album of details of construction, the inclusion of effigies and symbols:
A Turtle on the Serpent's back...

An "open mouth" of a stone something or other... 


...eyes, faces...




...a red rhomboidal stone, or "healing diamond" that lent its name to this album:

More Uktena:

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