Making Pictures in Stone: American Indian Rock Art of the Northeast

By Edward J. Lenik

The Indians of northeastern North the US are recognized to us essentially via studies and outlines written by means of ecu explorers, clergy, and settlers, and during archaeological facts. an extra helpful resource of data is the translation of rock paintings pictures and their dating to local peoples for recording functional concerns or details, as expressions in their legends and religious traditions, or as easy doodling or graffiti. the photographs during this booklet attach us on to the Indian peoples of the Northeast, usually Algonkian tribes inhabiting japanese Pennsylvania, Maryland and the decrease Potomac River Valley, big apple, New Jersey, the six New England States, and Atlantic Canada. Lenik presents an entire variety of rock paintings appearances within the learn region, together with a few dendroglyphs, pictographs, and a variety of transportable rock gadgets. through supplying a whole research and synthesis of the information, together with the categories and distribution of the glyphs, and interpretations in their desiring to the local peoples, Lenik unearths a wealth of latest details at the tradition and lifeways of the Indians of the Northeast.


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A deer drawn very crudely, approximately 8 inches excessive, and 7 figures in teams, was once at a quick distance from the previous. ” Hough illustrated the seven figures and pointed out them as “human beings . . . drawn within the traditional shape” as a chain of X-shaped designs. He additional acknowledged that the “block on which the deer used to be drawn is preserved within the collections of the nation, at their historic and antiquarian museum in Albany” (Hough 1970 [1853]:26–27). The Black Lake pictographs have been back mentioned in 1922 via archaeologist Arthur C. Parker in his e-book The Archeological background of latest York, in addition to a photo of the location (Parker 1922:686, Plate 214). Parker additionally said the presence of 2 “village” websites and a burial at the western aspect of Black Lake. purple ochre is a pigment made from hematite, a nonmagnetic oxide of iron represented by means of the formulation Fe2O3. it really is typically known as crimson ochre due to its colour and since it produces a purple streak. resources of pink ochre happened within the quarter to the north of Black Lake at a quarry known as Porte L’Enfer or “Devil’s Gateway. ” The Porte L’Enfer quarry is defined as a “darkened fault cave at the Mattawa River no longer faraway from the Ontario-Quebec border” (Conway 1993:40). it's a slim chamber whose partitions are full of pink ochre deposits. within the Seventies, archaeologists investigated this quarry and decided that Indians had got rid of blocks of stone containing the purple mineral. the colour crimson had a religious or mystical caliber for plenty of Indian peoples; therefore, purple ochre used to be a sacred pigment (Conway 1993:39). Parker’s 1922 photo of the Black Lake pictographs indicates huge painted rectangles, vertical traces, a potential bi-pointed arrow, a zigzag line, a wide in-filled triangle, in-filled circles, and an oval in define shape (Figure 18). The painted strains have been probably produced utilizing a finger as an applicator whereas the bigger oblong blocks have been most probably smeared through hand. regrettably, those pictures have been “hand coloured to spotlight [them]” to lead them to extra seen for book (Christina Phillips, own verbal exchange 2004). critical weathering and exfoliation are glaring at the floor of the vertical ledge, which means that the extant photographs will be basically fragments of what was there. The that means of those geometric designs is unknown. James Swauger of the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh and a famous authority on petroglyphs within the higher Ohio Valley believed that the Black Lake pictographs have been Euro-American in starting place. Swauger, in a letter to me, indicated that Dr. William A. Ritchie of the recent York country Museum additionally believed them to be Euro-American ( James Swauger, own communique 1996). even though, no clarification in their end used to be coming near near. I, 38 / bankruptcy four determine 18. Pictographs at Black Lake, ny. photos on photo have been more suitable to enhance visibility. photo courtesy of recent York nation Museum. nevertheless, settle for Hough’s and Parker’s unique judgment that they have been the paintings of Indians.

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