Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Curt Hoffman Talk - Wednesday night Zoom

Oct 21 7 PM EST Curt is talking in Acton: 


Passcode: 716028

Saturday, October 17, 2020

What did the Indians know?

Since first learning about ceremonial stone structures I have wondered, as have others, how much of the specific ceremonies is remembered by today's Native Americans? Mavor concluded that there was a bit of residual knowledge, kept by some families; but nothing that would inform our understanding of what we find in the woods. Personally, I concluded, based on how many fresh rock piles appear (almost none) and their adherence to familiar patterns (incomplete, at best) that Mavor was essentially correct. I listened carefully, during an "expert panel on rock piles" at a NEARA meeting, when the president of USET, over the speaker phone, thanked Doug for teaching the member tribes about rock piles. He said: "We did not know about these things and you showed us the way". That seemed definitive.

In fact, the Native Americans - notably Doug Harris -  like to imply they always knew about rock piles. "The cat is out of the bag", Doug used to say when asked why these ideas were being discussed for the first time now, rather than at any time in the past. This always leaves me concerned that I am stepping on the toes of people who really know about rock piles because they are the originators of them. It is a huge opportunity to make a fool of myself.

Yet, I am given pause seeing a picture of the Narragansett medicine man standing on a stone mound and walking across it casually. An act of disrespect.

In any case, I just noticed a bit of logic that escaped me earlier.  If Doug Harris already knew about rock piles, then why would he take multiple walks with me? If he already knew about rock piles then why did the USET resolution appear (Resolution 2003:022) , identifying eight towns, only after I gave Doug the names of those towns? Had the main purpose of the USET resolution been the political aspect of working with New England towns, then Doug, who is an extremely busy person, would have gone to the towns first and not bothered taking walks with me.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Medawlinno Footprints (Henniker NH)


     Sherry L. Gould writes: "These footprints are in Henniker NH where the Abenaki believe foot prints were left here by Medawlinno. People with extremely powerful medicine, like Passaconaway, could press their feet into solid earth.

     There is no oral tradition of what person may have left these prints in the rocks in Henniker that we have found yet. Just our traditions of what kind of person was able to do it, and traditions of Passaconaway's abilities..."


Ed Lenik writes: