Thursday, April 29, 2021

Stone Snake Effigy (Woodbury CT)

I was driving up this newly graded road
 when I noticed the white stone near the boulder
 at the beginning of this segment of stacked stones
that most people would call a stone wall or fence...

Imagining the white stone as the "Jewel"
(that I "moved" in the illustration)
 on top of the head of an Uktena-like Stone Snake Effigy,
there also appears to be a diamond-like stone
  behind the suspected head stone,
perhaps the vulnerable spot 
where the stories say the Uktena's heart is:
At the other end of the segment
 is another boulder at another
 opening in the "fence."
I don't really need to superimpose an eye
 to convey my idea that this is another
 "boulder snake head" type of Great Snake Effigy:

I did try out some 
different styles of horns,
 imaging the construction as
 a Great Horned Snake:

41.590 - 73.199

Thursday, April 22, 2021

A Working Map with Some Place Names (CT)

Including Quassapaug
The Big Stones Where We Fish??


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Update on Nonnewaug

I can take a few educated guesses at just what the word Nonnewaug means.

In 1870 or so, Mr. William Cothren wrote, in his History of Ancient Woodbury:

In 1960 or so, Mr. J.H. Huden came up with this way to sort of check up on these old translations:

And there in Mr. Huden's book is a translation for "Nonnewaug" that seems to be a good choice when it comes to field checking the meaning of these "analyzed" Algonquin language words:
Mr. Huden is also nice enough to include a little "check your work" formula that actually uses a variant of a syllable "waug" in the first example he uses to explain:
In case you missed it, "amuag" implies a "fishing place" in Lenape.  
So I'm headed back into Huden (online), thinking perhaps that if I search for Paugussett and Quinnipiac words, I'll narrow my down my search by using each term as a "grouping" as Mr. Huden seems to be endorsing in his second step. I realize I can't easily "cut and paste" from this version of the text I'm viewing, so I capture these images and herd them into files in a folder on a flash drive. The "Nam/aug" file eventually looked like this, fishing and eeling places that could be, like Kissenaug implies, stone weirs composed of boulders:
At the same time, I'm herding anything first syllable-like into a "nanna na na na" file, with some very interesting and intriguing possible translation results, including "place of safety" when thinking about those troubled and turbulent years of the 1600s:
I've got a "napa" also, mostly for the eeling/fishing aspect, even if it is in a different but related Algonquin dialect sometimes:
I've got a "paug ending" folder that seems to lean toward "dry land" a little. I pause to think of evidence of perhaps a glacial lake shore as a component of what I see out our front windows - or maybe a beaver pond that may have flooded the valley along that contour of the 100 year flood line that is recorded on some maps I have come across at different times.
And the 100 year flood I briefly witnessed, recreating that pond or lake...
The "- paug" ending:

  Nonnewaug physically includes “the Nonnewaug floodplain,” literally dry land that once was a glacial lake or a beaver pond. It was under cultivation by Indigenous People living at the Nonnewaug Wigwams in 1672 and up until 1740. There is also a now stranded and disturbed diagonal row of boulders in the river known as the Nonnewaug and perhaps you could say it was: “The fish weir farthest up the little river that joins up with the Great River at Pootatuck.”

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Outcrop Serpent Effigy 001 (Cockaponset)

 And a little more...

Humanly Modified Outcrop resembling an Eastern Timber Rattlesnake, the snake that served as a model for a Great Horned Snake that figures highly in Indigenous Legends. The cracks in the outcrop have been filled in in places, "stacked" or perhaps "wedged" in natural cracks in the stone, but possibly with help by human hands to further enhance the image of a Great Serpent...

Just because I just came across these, also in Killingworth CT:

Lifted from:


Friday, April 09, 2021

Glossary of a "Stone Prayer"


Káhtôquwuk/ Stone Prayer

“Invested with prayers for the balance of the universe”

    “Out of respect for accuracy, intention, cultural sensitivity and right of peoples to govern their self-narrative, Indigenous terms are here used to described things Indigenous. The term "cairn" is specifically Gaelic/Gailidh and properly applies to that cultural context. "Rock pile" was noted as inappropriate by the Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Narragansett at a 2017 conference, since relics are sacred and "regarded as grandfathers." Both preceding terms have been misapplied to Algonquian sacred relics, for which Indigenous, accurately descriptive terms are given below. Following is a glossary of terms in this article,” writes Rolf Cachat in Assessing Stone Relics in Western Massachusetts Part II: Patterns of Site Distribution (2018, Bulletin of the Archaeological Society of Connecticut)…

Name of Algonquian nation + euw = name of Algonquian language (ex: Nipmeuw, Massachuseuw, Lënapeuw, also spelled Lunapeeuw).

Kodtonquag(kash)ceremonial stone grouping (káhtôquwuk, Narragansett), allegorically, a 'stone prayer.'

Máunumúet(ash)  - place(s) of ceremonial gathering (ehenda mawewink, Lënapeuw, mawighunk, Mahhekanneuw).

Hasennnípaü - "standing stone" (Nipmeuw; suns nipámu  Narragansett).

Wawanaquassik - honoring stones place (Mahhekanneok).

Wawanaquassuk - "Honoring Stones"

Manito(u), manitoiwuk - a spirit being, of the spirit beings (a group, or some of the spirit beings).

Nípaü kodtonquag(kash) - stone groupings, either tabular or round stones, stacked in upright courses on top of boulder bases (Nipmeuw).

Anogkuéu kodtonquag(kash) - barely elevated low mound of concentric circles of smooth/round cobbles or very small stones, sometimes variable as pebbles without organized rings (Nipmeuw).

Tûnuppasuonk kodtonquag(kash)  - turtle effigies in stone (Nipmeuw).

    "In regard to stone features including 'massive or small structures, stacked, stone rows or effigies,' the USET states, for thousands of years before the immigration of Europeans, the medicine people of the USET tribal ancestors used these sacred landscape s to sustain the people’s reliance on Mother Earth and the spirit energies of balance and harmony (USET 2007)."

   “To summarize here, prayer rituals and other ceremonies at stone groupings are established in traditions connecting closely related Algonquians from Lënapeuk (Delaware) homelands in Eastern Pennsylvania to Nahigganeuk (Narragansett) in Rhode Island (and beyond; see USET statement above)…”

   “The convergence of water, earth and sky within the stories of constellations in relation to the people and time is the basis of the predominant calendric rites of regional Algonquians, and explains the choice of location for sacred stone groupings (Cachat-Schilling 2016:41-43). Themes of connectedness, reciprocity, prayerfulness and continuity are expressed through máunumúetash.”