Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Yurok, Karok, and Rocks

Mavor and Dix have a bunch of Yurok references in “Manitou,” mostly taken from a 1925 book on CA Indians. I recall highlighting “rock ref.’s” on a flight to San Diego, just before driving down to see my brother-in-law’s new house in Baja California. These are the people who put the idea of stone prayer seats into our collective heads.
The Karok People are also discussed in the “Handbook,” the up-river neighbor’s of the Yurok, both of whom spoke an isolated Algonquian dialect - and an oral tradition as coming from "the east." The two groups never saw white people until about 1850. There are no references to burning over the landscape, but other sources link their dependence on acorns as food to a management of oak groves by fire, and other plant resources as well.
There’s even some photos of the Rocks that have names…

1 comment :

Norman said...

The Yurok Indians weren't the only tribe in the West to construct prayer seats, so the question is, among which tribe in the West did they originate? Plus, they weren't always oriented toward a celestial feature, as many here in the Northeast believe. A sacred mountain or simply a spectacular vista, one that would lead to a successful vision quest, was sufficient.