Sep 042014
 

Bear Panel

The Bear panel at Shavano Valley Petroglyph site near Montrose, Colorado, is an intriguing example of Ute symbolism.  The panel incorporates glyphs from recent times overlaid on very ancient ones.  Look closely and you can see a faint line coming out of the crevice in the rock face (bottom right).  The line goes up and then branches.  Part way up on the line is a woman or man carrying a back pack and a planting stick.  The line and the figure were pecked into the patina of the rock face.  It is a classic case of using rock incorporation of cracks and crevices in the story being depicted.  Here the person has emerged from the underworld, represented by the crevice, and is travelling along the trail provided by Sinauf, the creator, with a basket of seeds and a planting stick.  Also, part of this era are more branching trails and animal tracks.  This story is the oldest depicted on the panel.

Apr 032014
 
Nachez Powwow

Nachez Powwow–picture from website

This past weekend (March 29 and 30), there was a powwow in Nachez, Mississippi.  Native American powwows are very colorful and the dances are festive and interesting.  Dancing and singing has always been a major part of Native American life.   When James Mooney lived with the Cherokee in the 1830’s, he witnessed and wrote about the Cherokee Ball Play Dance.  Here are some of Mooney’s observations:

“In 1834, before the removal of the Cherokee to the west, a great game was played near the present site of Jasper, Georgia, between the settlements of Hickory Log and Coosawattee, in which there were eighteen players on a side, and the chiefs of the rival settlements wagered $1,000 apiece on the result.

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