Thursday, August 28, 2014

Shavano Valley Petroglyphs, Part 2: Rock Art Maps

Have you used Google Maps lately?  How about AAA Triptiks.  Remember Rand-McNally?  Maps
have been an essential part of the traveler’s gear for thousands of years.   We’ve all seen pictures of ancient maps used by mariners, but did you know that Native Americans also used maps?
 
Many of the hunter-gatherer cultures, like the Ute and their predecessors, were highly mobile, constantly moving to keep pace with plant and animal food sources.  They depended upon their knowledge of game trails, hunting strategies, and locations for seasonal plants. Carol Patterson wrote, “Powell, one of the first anthropologists to describe Ute life ways, went so far as to remark that:
 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Shavano Valley Petroglyphs, Part 1: Tunnel Cave

IMG_4458
 A few miles northeast of Montrose, Colorado, canyon walls look down on fertile Shavano Valley.  Pecked onto the patina of Dakota Sandstone boulders are ancient petroglyphs crafted by hunter-gatherers recording the beliefs and preserving maps and history  from 1000BC until AD 1881.  The valley was popular through the centuries because of an artesian well and abundance of game.  Ute trails converged at this site where the young could learn the history and traditions of their ancestors.
 
 
 
 
This is a preview of Shavano Valley Petroglyphs, Part 1: Tunnel Cave. Read the full post (459 words, 7 images, estimated 1:50 mins reading time)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cherokee Fables: What Stars are Like

Starry Night, van Gogh

This week the sky provided us with wondrous things to observe.  Sunday was this year’s “Supermoon” which is the first full moon when the moon is at its closest point to earth.  It was accompanied by the Perseid Meteor Shower which occurs every year around this time when the earth’s path crosses the debris left by the comet Swift-Tuttle.
 
Man has always been intrigued by the sky and its mysteries and has tried to explain the phenomena in the sky with careful observation and reasoned hypotheses.  This week I would like continue the series on Cherokee Fables with the Cherokee story “What the Stars are Like” as recorded by James Mooney in the late 1800’s . . .
 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Cherokee Fables: The Moon and The Thunders

The Sun was a young woman and lived in the East, while her brother, the Moon. lived in the West. The girl had a lover who used to come every month in the dark of the moon to court her. He would come at night, and leave before daylight, and although she talked with him she could not see his face in the dark, and he would not tell her his name, until she was wondering all the time who it could be. At last she hit upon a plan to find out, so the next time he came, as they were sitting together in the dark of the √Ęsi, she slyly dipped her hand into the cinders and ashes of the fireplace and rubbed it over his face, saying, “Your face is cold; you must have suffered from the wind,” and pretending to be very sorry for him, but he did not know that she had ashes on her hand. After a while he left her and went away again.