Tuesday, December 28, 2021

From the Plantation’s Watch House


   From the Plantation’s Watch House, the field full of “corn mounds,” where the Three Sisters of Corn, Squash, and Beans grew together, could be easily seen. The same was true of Fish Weir, a stone wall-like diagonal row of boulders in the river, that gave the name to The Nonnewaug Wigwams. Behind the Watch House, to the west, was the Mast Forest, enclosed by a border of fireproof stones, a qusuqaniyutôk or perhaps more accurately  qusuqaniyutôkansh, a series of segments of stone enclosures and entrances.

   A definition or two, the former from the scientific literature emerging in the early 21st century, the latter mine, an artistic based impression based mostly on observations of "stone walls" over around thirty years at the time I’m writing this:

   Qusukqaniyutôk : (‘stone row, enclosure’ Harris and Robinson, 2015:140, ‘fence that crosses back’ viz. qussuk, ‘stone,’ Nipmuc or quski, quskaca, ‘returning, crosses over,’ qaqi, ‘runs,’ pumiyotôk, ‘fence, wall,’ Mohegan, Mohegan Nation 2004:145, 95, 129) wall (outdoor), fence, NI – pumiyotôk plural pumiyotôkansh.)

   Qusukqaniyutôk: “A row of stones artistically stacked using elements of Indigenous Iconography, sometimes resembling a Great Snake, often composed of smaller snake effigies as well as other effigies both zoomorphic and anthropomorphic, sometimes appearing to shapeshift into another effigy, possibly related to control of water or fire (sometimes both) on Sacred Cultural Landscapes that are becoming to be recognized as Indigenous Ceremonial Stone Landscapes.”

    From a perspective of distance, the largest of the Stone Snake Qusukqaniyutôk snake across the landscape, crossing over others, sometimes connecting great boulders or bedrock outcrops, sometimes along streams – and sometimes over a stream, a Musical Row of Stones, the sound of the Great Snake contentedly “purring:”


     Sometimes the enclosure has an abundance of blueberries in it. Sometimes there’s a name (or a remembrance of an original name) such as cranberry Pond or Cranberry swamp, inside a stone enclosure, surrounded by other enclosures, fed by streams bordered by and sometimes diverted by rows of stones emanating from stone worked springs.

    Wildfires taught lessons to the People who first lived on the landscape and those Peoples learned to use fire to tend the landscape. It is my thought that those rows of stones, controlling fires and the flow of water, were built by the Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern gate of Turtle Island, creating one of the “World’s Largest Rock Gardens.”

   From little bits and pieces, remnants of old stones, remain while others are just thoughtlessly disturbed forever, lost pieces of a Sacred Indigenous Ceremonial Stone Landscape...

Saturday, December 25, 2021

The 97% Solution


    “Evaluations of qusuqaniyutôkansh (“stone walls”) by parties who do not test their hypotheses against Northeast Algonquian cosmology, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and Rituals of Renewal on Ceremonial Stone Landscapes are doing, at best, only 3% of an investigation,” remarked Sherlock Stones to his associate, famed Rocket Surgeon John Possum. "The late Dr. Brian Jones, the Connecticut State Archaeologist spoke and wrote about that "Other 97% of the Human History," the Indigenous Peoples' History, that most people are almost entirely unaware of - or are greatly misinformed about."

   “Call it “The 97% Solution,” Sherlock continued. “For thousands and thousands of years, the Indigenous Peoples of what is thought of as quaint “New England” certainly had a greater opportunity to shape the landscape, using fire and hearth-like rows of stones than the post contact Euro-American Settler Colonists and their slaves, indentured servants, employees, and their exceptional descendants with their “Merino Sheep Walls” and soil cutting plows in the remaining 3% of the human history of the region. The example of the use of LiDar in Central and South America to reveal and discover the vast amount of Indigenous Stonework in a place where “true civilization” was thought impossible to exist in a “pristine jungle” serves well. If those southern regions were transformed into some of the world’s largest gardens, then why would it be impossible that the Indigenous Peoples at the Eastern Gate of Turtle Island, the Dawnland, could create one of the “World’s Largest Rock Gardens,” my dear Possum?”

    Dr. Possum sighed and remarked, “Well Stones, what is the truly more advanced civilization – one that creates a sustainable system of coexistence with the ecosystem or one that degrades it to such a degree that, if continued without change, in all probability leads to extinction?”

    Both men paused, pondering this.

   "Another slice of Christmas Pie?" asked Dr. Possum.

   "A plum of an idea," replied Sherlock Stones.

"Ceremonial Stone Landscapes is the term used by USET, United Southern and Eastern Tribes, Inc."

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Nonnewaug, the "Fresh water fishing place"


 This diagonal line of boulders in the Nonnewaug River in Woodbury CT, most likely a diagonal fish weir that is probably the source of the place name Nonnewaug, just might soon disappear. Maybe on Monday, I don't know...

  The years have not been kind to the Weir since that photo above was taken in 1997. That large tree crashed through the weir and started its demise...

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

500 BCE (Lenapehokink)

And here he is, John Martin:

This page was last edited on 23 November 2018 - and needs a new update:

The claim was that these stones in PA were stone heaping practices of 19th century farmers, which sounds very familiar:

"Evaluations of máunumúetash* by parties who do not test their hypotheses against Northeast Algonquian cosmology and rituals are doing, at best, only half an investigation..."

Rolf Cachat

Bulletin of Society for Connecticut Archaeology (2018)


*Máunumúet(ash) - place(s) of ceremonial gathering (ehenda mawewink, Lënapeuw, mawighunk, Mahhekanneuw). Themes of connectedness, reciprocity, prayerfulness and continuity are expressed through máunumúetash."

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

They are Singing...

Desires, dreams, visions,
Praying by stacking stones,
They are Singing...

Monday, December 06, 2021

What Great Serpent Effigies we find...

 ...depends mainly on what Great Serpent Effigies we look for."   - Sherlock Stones

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Sherlock Stones and the "Fallen into Disrepair Stone Wall"


      “Here’s the original photograph of an interesting image of a so-called “New England Colonial Stone Wall” that one often sees while searching images online,” Dr. Johnnie Possum remarked to his associate Sherlock Stones. Possum read the caption below the photo on the screen aloud: “Many of New England’s stone walls, like this one in New Hampshire, are going back to nature as they fall into disrepair and become overgrown with moss.”

       Stones sighed and put down his violin, peered at the screen for a moment. “Possum, we see and yet fail to observe.” He turned to his Rocket Surgeon, as well as his consulting fellow Independent Ceremonial Stone Landscape researcher friend, and asked, “Exactly which stones are we to believe are “fallen stones” in this photograph?”  

       Possum pointed to the center of the image, to the three stones on the ground. “Here of course! Indicative of perhaps a tree fall long ago, perhaps - or a place where deer have crossed the stone barrier, moving from one enclosure to another.”

       Stones replied, “These three stones appear to be stacked in that spot rather than reposing as they fell. I would suspect a human has placed them so – although one may want to consider a tidy bear has moved them, in search of picnic baskets perhaps.”  Possum chuckled at the reference to a talking cartoon bear as Sherlock Stones continued: “The same possible bear also appears to carry a can of red spray paint. Observe the red dot on the boulder at the breach. One might conclude that this spot is on a trail marked with red paint – or less likely, that it is an indicator of underground power lines that a land surveyor has noted.” Stones shook his head, as if chastising himself for entertaining the thought. “Perhaps it’s orange, the color for Communication lines,” he said, shaking his head again. He turned to Possum and said, “Despite what the author of the caption is telling us, before our eyes is a remarkably intact segment of artistically stacked stones. Some of the stones do display quite a good deal of moss and lichen growth, but “overgrown with moss” is not exactly how I for one would describe them.”

     Scrolling down, Stones read aloud, “Why are there stone walls in New England? New England’s first farmers of European descent found themselves plowing soil strewn with rocks left behind by glaciers. So, stone by stone, they stacked the rocks into waist-high walls. Some say these walls helped win the American Revolution, and they later inspired Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall.” He turned to Doctor Possum and said, “Here’s a familiar tune! I thought this sounded very familiar!”

           Both men read aloud the next sentence, “Host Stevie Cordwood goes for a walk in the woods of New Hampshire with stone wall expert Thorbert Roberson, the author of Rock by Rock: The Magnificent True Life Colonizer History of New England’s Stone Walls.”

          “We know this fellow's works quite well,” Possum remarked.

          Stones sighed, “Yes, we do, Possum, yes we do. So does the general public. We are quite familiar with his rigid stance on the subject: "No humans intelligent enough to be building in stone until lost settler-colonists accidently bumped into a rock around 1620 or thereabouts in this part of the big blue world.”

         “It’s really quite a shame that the man remains willfully unaware of Indigenous Cultures in the hemisphere,” Possum mused, ”There are remarkable stone, earth and even shell Indigenous structures to be found everywhere.  Those remarkable features in Pennsylvania, some 2500 years old according to recent Optically Stimulated Luminescence testing, come to mind.”

      Sherlock Stones was already at the keyboard of Dr. Possum’s laptop, plugging phrases into a search engine, humming an old familiar song. "Let us see if more images of this remarkably intact, delicate looking stone structure will pop up..."

To be continued, perhaps...