Tuesday, April 03, 2007

"Prayers in Stone" - more from the USET Resolution 2007:037

Interesting classification implied here:

"...whether these stone structures are massive or small structures, stacked, stone rows or effigies, these prayers in stone are often mistaken..."

I continue to think that some or even much of this knowledge has been lost. The Indians do not want to admit that it is lost - nor should they. Nonetheless there is still room for the amateur non-Indian to seek, see and, perhaps, discover.

I think it is important for the Indians to state their intentions with respect to the land ownership. The concept of "ownership" is with us whether we like it or not; so what are the landowners' rights?


pwax said...

I think it is important for the Indians to state their intentions with respect to the land ownership. The concept of "ownership" is with us whether we like it or not. So what are the landowners rights?

JimP said...

The resolutions passed by USET focus solely on lands owned by Federal agencies. The laws are already in place with respect to Federal properties of historic significance.

The problem is that stone structure sites are not recognized for their historic significance and therefore the laws are not currently applicable to them. The resolutions seek to correct that problem by reinforcing laws already in place, and informing agencies, State Archaeologists, and State Historic Preservation Offices about stone structure sites of cultural significance to USET member tribes.

Although these USET resolutions do not address them, the laws are also already in place regarding private landowners and sites of historic significance. A private landowner can ultimately continue to do what he wishes with his property regardless of its historic value. But a designation of historic significance would open the door to various grants, tax cuts, and easements not currently available to stone structure sites. The significant cultural stone landscape on the Miner Farm, for example, could finally be preserved.

Geophile said...

I'm still in a mild state of ecstasy from just reading it. There it is. No maybe about it. They claim them. I have endured some amount of shaken heads and rolled eyes over this topic. You know--the crazy farmer theory, the bored teenagers and the secret pagans. Certain people thought we were crackpots all along.

And I think some groups know pretty much about this stuff, the Cherokee for instance. Some preserved more of this knowledge, some less. But of course I'm no more confident than before that they'll walk us around and tell us just what's what.

I'm guessing the Pleiades and Venus as well as the sun, the moon, streams and especially springs, all play a part at various sites, as do more subtle matters more difficult to pin down or at least describe. And many sites relate in some way to creation stories. But the day when a book is written collaboratively with medicine people, describing the meaning and significance of different kinds of sites and features is still probably a long way off. One celebration at a time.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that Ted Timreck's pilot documentary "Hidden Landscapes," which was shown at the USET meeting in Washington, D.C., in February, played a major role in convincing the tribes to issue the resolution. Timreck's film focuses on the ceremonial stonework in the Northeast. The film is constantly being fine tuned, and eventually you may all see it on PBS.

pwax said...

About definitions of land ownership, see the "Indian Country" website - which the Narragansetts are working with (according to Doug Harris).

My reading is that their goal is protection of Native American sites for use by Native Americans.