Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Report on NEARA 2009 Fall Meeting

Best I can do:

Pain in the ...I have to type up my notes from the NEARA conference, or at least most of them:

Ukntena = near Scorpio - related to Aug 15 Persied meteor shower.

[At the panel discussion.]
Sitting next to Kevin who has been exploring along Rt 202 (The Moosehorn).

Dry Hill (near Turner's Falls) Cairns. BIG STUFF. (Michael VanCamp found). Always called "Indian's Fort". Oral anecdote = Indians would stop bye, commonly.

Ukntena (Unktena?) = entrance to the underworld.

Boulder with "split pair" at fort drum [pic]
closely associated with fire cracked rocks and site 3500 to 900 years old.

"Stars whose names we have forgotten".

Chariman of USET calls in by cell phone (which is held to the microphone) and says:

Alabama Indians did not seem too aware of piles until Doug (Harris) showed them, the preservation at Turner's Falls is "groundbreaking". They are going for National Registration of a site down there. He feels this work is THE most important work we have begun and will take several lifetimes ....amazed @ amount of progress.... passed a (new) resolution calling for more preservation... work has been done in the New England is actually helping down here...Oxford Alabama. One factor in saving the feature was the work of USET...I am honored to be part of this and to speak to you. Thank you. [Hangs up]

Q: Why Natives less reluctant to talk about the true meaning...
A(Bettina Washington): I have had a bad month....Non-Wampanoag doing ceremony....we tend not to's more than religion...this is who we are.
A(Doug Harris): Why now? We began to realize these were sites slated for development. Our Office started to struggle with this and wnet to the elders...."No leave it alone"..."Why?"..."Leave it alone". More tribal dialog. [Doug wants to show this grandchildren the sites.]

[So that is the myth forming. As far as I can tell they started talking when we told them what we already knew. In Acton Doug said: "ceremonial sites are out of the bag".]

Alan Leveille: the 16 mi radius ceremonial designation around Turner's Falls "scared the be-jesus out of everybody". Turner's Falls, at the Federal level, is the starting gun.

Bettina sees all structures whether coming from man or from Nature are all coming from the creator.

[Concord: needs to pass bylaws D.H. reminds me.]
Jic get's acknowledged by Doug.

Now there are 4 USET resolutions: #1 about the eight towns #2 directed at the FED #3... #4...

[Lisa Gannon asking about Balanced Rock Farm in Berlin, MA]
[Donna Thomspon with map of Indian Rock Rd]
Terry Deveau (Maritime CA) - new Cairnsite. New [wondeful] inscriptions.
Ros Strong (ME)- Cairns, walls, stone seat. More reported sites in Northport, ME
Donna Thompson (NH) site visites, field archeo workshop, GPS workshop. Party invitation for NEARA members.
Lisa Gannon (VT) 3 field trips...numerous features....Calendar I, Lake Willoughby erratics; South Pomfret Steone walls, niches, quartz.
Jim Eagon (RI) recommends books: "History of Narragansett Bay" "Sacred Land of the Eastern Niantic Indians" "Root Cellats in America" [by James Gage]. Francis Carter Memorial Reserce with Larry Harrop.
Poly Midgely reports her files for PUntam county inclulde 215 stone chambers. [This has to stand as the current most accurate estimate for the number of stone chambers where they are densest: in Putnam County, NY]
Peter Anick (MA) - Most stone "U"s face uphill.

[From the audience someone says something kind about PWAX finding the most sites]
Tom Paul (Westford Knight Committee) Mentions a Viking Ship at the bottom of Lily Pond in Newport, RI.

--------later session-------
Peter Anick: California Cairns (Modoc, Klamath had many reported cairns when first encountered by anthropologists) of cairns and walls looking out over the Pacific, stone structures on mountains and in the desert.

Barbara Threecrow: talking about ley lines, accumpuncture, chi [PWAX wonders how to sit through this politely? Concludes easiest way may be to just listen]...teluric energy [eyes closing]....where would the places to pray be? or to heal the earth....[DANG! this is a sermon...oops] 54 Sacred sites...if a tree falls in the forest [I am not kidding...she brought this up]...thinking about trees, leaves and insanity...[launches into a story about...] pulling into a gas station in New Jersey [Norman Muller leans over and says "that's New Jersey for you", she continues]...and now we were on our third car and said a prayer so we could get out of New about these sites....always when we enter a site we make an offering to the ancestors.

After dinner a speaker asked if anyone had read Kuhn's "Structure of Scientific Revolution". I was the only one except for a lady to my left.


JimP said...

Some of you guys have asked me in the past why I have never joined NEARA. Allowing someone like "Barbara Threecrow" to speak at their conference is a perfect example of why I refuse to give that organization my money

In fact, that sort of thing not only turns *me* off, but the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Nations actually passed a symbolic Declaration of War against such people.

If you speak to anyone who is Lakota, and you can easily do that on the Internet these days, you will feel their anger and pain about this topic.

As long as people like her are speaking at their conferences, I will not join. And I think that's a shame.

pwax said...

That is interesting. You should know that everyone who mentioned her talk did it with a smirk.

JimP said...

If you go to her website, she claims to be, "a healer and ceremonial leader in the Lakota tradition."

That's like advertising yourself as a Bishop in the Catholic tradition.

What's worse is that members of the public are unable to distinguish who this person truly is. One posting on the Internet calls her, "Barbara Threecrow of the Lakota community."

No, she is not of the Lakota community. She is not Lakota. By her own admission, she is of Irish ancestry.

Putting her in the NEARA conference gives her some legitimacy, and supplying her with a platform aids and abets her exploitation of Lakota spirituality.

This kind of thing really makes me angry with NEARA.

pwax said...

Go ahead and be angry with NEARA. I think many were surprised to hear such nonsense being delivered by a speaker there but mistakes like that happen. NEARA is a home to a lot of oddball types and if that net was not cast pretty wide it would never catch some of the most interesting things that are going on. And you get an occasional dud that way - it comes with the territory.

For example, I doubt the Mass Archeological Society would ever invite her to speak.

pwax said...

I should add that there appear to be one or possibly more splinter groups trying to separate themselves from NEARA. I guess a number of people are voting their "no confidence" that way.

pwax said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Highland Boy said...

Perhaps she was invited because her talk was on the "Divine Feminine" which ties in with the theory postulated in "The Cabal of the Westford Knight?"

Just saying.

Nice meeting you Peter, BTW.


JimP said...

Peter, this isn't an oddball with some outlandish theory -- this is a scammer. This is someone advertising herself as something that she isn't in order to make money.

She has no right to be making lectures about Native American sacred sites, and NEARA has no business giving her the platform to do so.

Highland Boy said...

Hey the Lakotas started their own bank and are issuing their own coinage. I say hurray for them. Highly admirable.

re: Threecrow: I don't subscribe to her beliefs on the Indigo/Starchildren, etc. and I'm no fan of New Age theology in general...however she does have the right speak on any subject she chooses and NEARA has the right to have any speaker they choose...just as you can choose to join NEARAor not. Free country, free speech, freedom of the press, free's a wonderful thing as long as we can hold onto it!


JimP said...

With all due respect, HB, this isn't a free speech issue.

She DOES NOT have the right to commit fraud. Neither do you.

If you are okay with this woman misrepresenting herself at a NEARA conference, then you should also be okay with an archaeologist who has padded his curriculum vitae also speaking at a NEARA conference.

pwax said...

reading this several years later: I agree with Jim. NEARA is sloppy and fails to become a research organization in part because of this draining of their credibility - which the board of directors allow.

Institute for Megalithic Research said...

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