Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Little Peoples' Sweat Lodge?

 Suddenly a Stone Sweat Lodge

My friend's original photo:
Note the size of the (Goosefoot Maple?) leaves.
This is a tiny "chamber" similar to larger ones, such as this one below,
accessed at a preview of "Our Hidden Landscapes" at Google Books:
One distinguishing Characteristic of Indigenous Stonework is perhaps the way certain stone structures are "stacked" to resemble, sometimes quite realistically, the scales around the eye of a rattlesnake:
A dramatic photo of a "chamber" in NY, on the Winter Solstice:

Larger preoculars on the left, smaller post oculars to the right,
under a supraocular-like "lintel" stone...

Some of you might be thinking, "That's a niche," in Stephanie's photo,
a place to "leave an offering" and that may be so,  
but I think it might also be a small stone sweat lodge,
"Serpent Stacked" to resemble the Eye of the Big Snake Spirit,
perhaps a way of traveling to the Underworld...

Side by side, Little and Big:

"The sacred stone piles on Mohegan Hill are a critical feature of the traditional landscape of Mohegan Hill; they were created by the “Little People” who live deep within the ground of Mohegan Hill. These “Little People” or Makiawisug are the ancient culture heroes of this region. These stone piles also possess powers that protect the Mohegan people from outsiders. Not only do the “Little People” still live within the ground on the Hill and continue to guard the stones, these stone piles are perceived as being made of the bones of Mother Earth and they contain messages that guide generation after generation of Mohegan People. Contemporary Mohegan tribal members make offerings to the “Little People” in hopes that they will continue to protect our Tribe."


A couple others:

The Snake above is looking to the right:

A little quote:

"When we consider beings supposed to be human, we come to the wigguladumooch-k, or little people, whose footsteps may sometimes be heard in the forest on a still day, though they themselves are rarely seen. They are especially strong in magic power, and will sometimes impart this to the Micmac who wins their friendship. Once in a while, in the woods, one will observe stones piled together so as to make a little house. If you move them and go away, when you return you will find them placed just where they were before you touched them."

Hagar, Stansbury (1896) Micmac Magic and Medicne Journal of American Folklore vol 9, pp. 170-177.


And then there's this:

Monday, February 05, 2024

Suddenly a Zigzag (MA/CT)


   Looking at an old post, I suddenly notice an “abandoned stonewall” might be a dreaded “zigzag stone wall.” With no further ground proofing, I decide to dive right into just another zigzag dissenter post:

  Well, yes it might be better defined (from a distance or a fuzzy enlarged photo) as appearing to be “serpentine,” but every popular stone wall book (or online lecture of a presentation on the YouTube) might say because it’s so very regular" and such “even” construction that it is probably most likely definitely without a doubt a “Yankee Farmer Wall.” The Colonialist Folk Tale states that zigzag stone walls are accidental creations, agricultural waste tossed against a wooden rail fence, sometime after 1620 in the howling pristine wilderness that became the "New England."

Above: Eric Sloane drawings.

 And yes, you might hear or read that the shape is used to distinguish a “farmer’s fence” from a “Native American Wall” by people who acknowledge the existence of Ceremonial Stone Landscape features, but here I am once again telling you: That carefully constructed zigzag is not the result of “field clearing stones thrown up against wooden rails that have long since rotted away."  

Nonnewaug Snake Effigy
A linear row that turns zigzag:

  These Big Stone Snakes may have functioned as fuel breaks on a fire-tended cultural landscape, a large scale garden – a rock garden, if you will – for a very long time. They are infused with, are alive with, the powers of the Great Serpents who have much to do with weather and water as well as lightning-set fires - or humanly set fires thermally pruning the landscape or protecting certain places from those fires, keeping the fires under control... 

  If this segment of stones was indeed shaped by Farmer William Nilly, then which side of the wooden fence was he tossing those stones?? Likely from the field above, right?? So, the uphill side, right?

And yes, I’m telling you again, “Look for the Snake Head.”

Old Post: https://wakinguponturtleisland.blogspot.com/2016/03/is-that-serpent-like-wall.html

Saturday, February 03, 2024

How many turtle effigies?

 Someone asks: "Do you have any idea how many turtle effigies there might be still standing?

How many turtle effigies?

Which kind of Effigy?

All of them?

I just don’t know…


I remember spotting turtles within the alleged “Estate Wall”

On the eastern border of the Institute in Washington CT

And thinking that’s a job for someone who isn’t me,

Counting all the possible turtle effigies in just this one massive construction,

This huge Snake Effigy, this Qusukqaniyutôk above the Shepaug River…


I call a boulder effigy of a box turtle “Turtle One”

Mostly because it was the first I clearly saw as Grandfather Turtle

-          One steps through a remnant of a row of stones

-          Into a mast forest zone to stand beside it,

-          Up above the planting fields and fish weir in Nonnewaug…

I call a snapping turtle effigy behind my old chicken coop “Turtle Two”

Mostly because it’s the second turtle effigy I could see

Ever since the chickens scratched it out of the farm trash

But I’ve never counted or assigned numbers to all the many turtle effigies

Which have made themselves known to me in those Stone Prayers…


There are turtle effigies on top of snake effigies way up high on hillsides

There are turtle effigies in the wetland gardens most people call swamps

And there are turtle effigies in the rows of stones that snake along in between the two.

Sometimes one finds a Diamondback Terrapin effigy up above a saltmarsh,

Sometimes one finds a musk turtle effigy by the ruins of an old saw mill

Sometimes one crosses the river on the backs of turtles (that are also snake scales),

Where eel baskets were still placed in the dark of the autumn moon just over 300 years ago...

Sometimes there’s an effigy right there,

-           In the middle of what one thought of as a colonial construction

-          In the middle of where two took wedding vows

-          In the middle of where their children and grandchildren played

-          Over by where someone may one day sprinkle some of one’s ashes…


Saturday, February 03, 2024

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Nuclear Lake (NY)

 Suddenly a Serpent

  I saw some recent photos from Nuclear Lake 

    and then I went looking for this old blog post:

Below is the original photo that I lifted:

Interesting shadow (where a snake eye might be?):

 "At the north end of the lake," writes Mr. Geologist, "there are a bunch of stone walls in the woods.  Not normal stone walls like I'm familiar with - the straight walls that once lined farmer's fields but now lie in the woods as some hardscrabble farms were abandoned a century ago.  No, these stone walls ran up and down hills in curved paths.  Not marking farmer's fields either since no one could farm anything on the steep, stony hillsides around this part of the lake...

  Who the hell builds a rock wall that zig-zags up the hill?  It's certainly not marking anyone's property line.  Another ran parallel the shoreline.  Why do that?"

(I'll interrupt to say that I suppose these are some choices to consider:)


An overlay:


The blog is still active:

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Asking for A Favor

 Please do whatever you can

    My friend writes, “These photos recently came to me in a query.  It looks like leaves and duff were stripped away and maybe some of the stones were moved. 

 This really hurts my heart when I see this. Whatever recent prayers that may have been left are disturbed. Evidence about the feature that can tell us some things about when it was made and who has visited are gone.  

But the worst part is that the spirits

 that remained in that space and that path between worlds

 have been disrupted.

Usually when I visit places where this kind of thing has been done,

 there is no spirit speaking there anymore.

 I know folks at _____ do this a lot.  Some others also do.  Please do whatever you can to discourage any touching of stone prayers, especially by persons who have not smudged, brought a gift, said the right words and keeps their mind still. 

To me, these are not things but more like persons,

and I think preserving the peace of spirits is more important

than anything we can learn from studying them or anything else.

In the end, I don't see the point of anything

if we lose the spirits and the path to them.

 Honestly, I was horrified when I saw someone strip away

around what they thought was a stone prayer. 

 Thank heaven it wasn't.

 To back me up, I point to the Sacred Stones and Red Cedar tradition, (In which Seven gifted "prophets" or apoplendoak, transform themselves first into stones, then into 'evergreens' or 'pines,' and then into stars.)  where they keep saying the Apoplendwak kept leaving because of people bothering them too much (transforming first into stones, then into trees, and finally into the sky as the constellation also known as the Pleiades). That's not the only recorded tradition that says people should be restrained around sacred places, for sure. 

 Thanks for hearing this and thinking about it.

       I think it's really important."


 Nohham writes: "I think these are photos of a pichisauonk, a portal.  This is the last thing you want to mess with unless you think you are a badass medicine person. That and cleaved boulders that are wedged closed.

  There are two of these that I know of on Sannakomuk Ridge, one facing southeast and the other facing northeast.  Happens to be where Venus is at Sikwannakizos, beginning of May, and where Pleiades is at Nunnaumunnemehquanhomom, at August 12th.  Pleiades - Anishquttauaog - features in the Sacred Stones and Red Cedar narrative.

The one facing northeast appears in Hidden Landscapes.

This one also appears near the end of a video on stone prayers, Sacred Sites of Shutesbury.

Both have recent offerings...

In time, leaves and loam have completely covered some stone prayers,
  where the prayers are now sealed in for all time,
 and no one will bother the spirit there. 
Those ceremonies have ceased and would remain as they were
 if we left it up to the forest and the spirits.
    So, I respect their path. 
 If new ceremony is made, 
there is plenty room in this world to do so
 and plenty stones to make new.  

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Waking Up On Turtle Island (PA)


View from the Watch House


Colonialist fence lawfare 

Beginning in 1620s:  Acquiring use of “abandoned” cornfields and village sites by treaties, early settler colonists began writing fence laws and making wooden rail fences. Common fields and crops at first, extending into uplands for pastures and firewood etc. later.

From 1673 and up to about 1740, the people living at the Nonnewaug Wigwams were planting in these "Indian cornfields" while south of there the early settler colonists were also planting:

A preexisting low stone “big snake effigy” fuel break of unknown age might enclose or border “something for something” (a road, a stream, places not to be burned, or multiple patches of blueberries to be burnt over on a staggered 4 year schedule etc.) but it’s not a legal 4 and a half foot high fence...

In 1740, when the Nonnewaug Wigwams were "abandoned" by the Pootatuck in the eyes of the colonists, the wooden rail fences appeared as the area became divided into "Home Lotts."

("Great Serpents can be Protective Spirits, Guardian Snakes having control over weather and water – and protection against both the fires caused by lightning shot from the eyes of the Thunder Beings (Thunderbirds) as well as the controlled burning Indigenous Peoples used to maintain Balance and create Abundance," writes Tim MacSweeney)

William Cothren, Woodbury Connecticut's favorite historian, mentions burning and cultural landscape management: “They encamped on Good Hill that night. The next day they proceeded to the valley to examine their possessions. Much of the intervals and plains on the river, throughout the whole extent of the first purchase, had been divested of trees and undergrowth, by the Indian custom of burning over the woods in the autumn, and the natives had for many years raised their slender crops of corn, beans and tobacco, in these pleasant valleys, before the whites set foot in Connecticut. By this method, the forests were cleared of underbrush, so that the hunters could better pursue their game, and could have some open spots for their rude husbandry."

Cothren’s footnotes the passage with a quote from "Hildreth:”

 “While the red men possessed the country, and every autumn set fire to the fallen leaves, the forests presented a most noble and enchanting appearance. The annual firings prevented the growth of shrubs and underbrush, and destroying the lower branches of the trees, the eye roved with delight from ridge to ridge, and from hill to hill; which like the divisions of an immense temple, were crowded with innumerable pillars, the branches of whose shafts interlocking, formed the arch-work of support to that leafy roof, which covered and crowned the whole. But since the white man took possession, the annual fires have been checked, and the woodlands are now filled with shrubs and young trees, obstructing the vision on every side, and converting these once beautiful forests into a rude and tasteless wilderness.”' - Hildreth

"Hildreth" in the footnote turns out to be:

"S.P. Hildreth, (an) early historian of Marietta, Ohio, writing in 1848, said: “The yearly autumnal fires of the Indians…had destroyed all the shrubs and undergrowth of woody plants….and in their place had sprung up the buffalo clover, and the wild pea vine, with various other indigenous plants and grapes, supplying the most luxuriant …pastures to the herds of deer and buffalo….” (Hildreth, 1848, pp.484-485).

I found Hildreth hiding in an article called: References on the American Indian Use of Fire in Ecosystems:


“Evidence for the purposeful use of fire by American Indians – also termed Native Americans, Indigenous People, and First Nations/People – in many ecosystems has been easy to document but difficult to substantiate,” Dr. Possum read aloud, attempting to read a pdf on the tiny screen of his phone.”

“And yet we are surrounded by these snake-like effigies in stone that may well simply be, in some places, fuel breaks for low ground fires set by these “Indians,” Sherlock Stones mused. “Quite the mystery, my dear Possum, quite the mystery.”

"Musical Row of Stones" is a term Norman Muller uses: