Thursday, January 19, 2006

"Goofing" and wall anomalies example

I read somewhere that the word "goofing" is a Wampanoag word for talking to spirits through holes in stone walls. If that is right, then this gives a possible function for these windows through walls. Here is another example where the wall gets "lacey", with multiple window openings occurring as the wall goes over a small bump.
This one is in a wall that terminates at Rt. 2. If you are driving west on 2, after the Newtown Rd exit, there is a place where you can see several stone walls coming out towards the highway on the right (north). There are some interesting little things on the last prominence before the dead end of Boxborough Rd in Littleton.

Actually in the examples I have seen it seems a better guess that these windows are at high points so that you can see through them from a ways away or so that the sun will shine through at a particular time of year. So they are not really about goofing around. On the other hand it is worth thinking a little about the act of speaking into a hole in the rocks. It is possible that people did this at split-wedged rocks or spirit doors.


Malea said...

Do you by any chance know of a link to that definition of "goofing"? I have read it too, but can no longer find it! I originally came across the definition on while looking up the origin of the word "goof" for a class. Now, that definition seems to have disappeared.

pwax said...

There are books about the History of the Wampanoag that might include it.