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Posts Tagged ‘Northwoods Pictographs’

Can You Help Us with Darkwater (formerly Darky) Lake?

Monday, April 30th, 2012
submitted by: Bob Evans

Darkwater Lake has two sites, both near the south end of the lake.  One is on the west shore and the other on the east shore.  While the images on both sites on Darkwater Lake can be fairly easily seen, there is evidence that the site has been repainted since the original images were painted on the cliff.  We discussed evidence for repainting in the Northwoods Pictograph Bulletin for Darkwater Lake.  We would like to find photographs taken decades ago to compare the images  across time.

Photos would only be of interest if they were taken at least in or before the 1950’s.  Not only would we like to see if there is evidence or repainting but images on this site appear to be of different time periods, or perhaps to have been painted with different pigment or binding agents.  Images that are very bright right next to ones that can hardly be seen bring this question to mind.

If you have in your family photo albums or old records, old photos of this site we would like to hear from you.  If you are aware of people who might have paddled this area prior to the 50’s we would like to know how to contact them.  If you have any of this information, please contact us at info@northwoodsmemoriesmmp.com  or call us at 405-721-6474

Thanks.

Can You Help Us With the Site On the West Side of the Entrance to Kawa Bay, Kawnipi Lake?

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
submitted by: Bob Evans

On the west side of the entrance to Kawa Bay from the main body of Kawnipi Lake, there is a site containing two very faded images.  One is a canoe and the other is a four legged animal, probably a Lynx.  We have found those images and visited them many times.  They are on a surface of rock that runs somewhat north and south.

BUT what we need is very specific and not related to those images.  Just to the south of these two images and on a rock surface running roughly east and west (i.e. “just around the corner” from the two images) and distanced from the known two images by ten feet or so is a flat rock surface with some erosion patterns on it.   These erosion patterns are due to some rock surface that has been removed leaving a much lighter color of rock showing.

We are looking for photographs of this surface taken perhaps a decade or more ago.  One probably would not photograph this surface, but if a photograph of the two known images was taken from some distance away, it might also show the surface about which we are inquiring.  So, if you have photographed this surface, or if you photographed any surfaces in the area while looking for the two known pictographs, you might have the surface we seek in your photos.

The bright white erosion areas are easliy seen.  If you have photographed these areas and see any of these bright white areas on a light tan surface would you contact us at  info@northwoodsmemoriesmmp.com   or phone us at 405-721-6474.

Thanks

Can You Help Us With the Fishdance Lake Site?

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012
submitted by: Bob Evans

The Fishdance Lake site is also referred to as the Kiwishiwi River site.  We have already completed the  Northwoods Pictograph Bulletin for the Fishdance Lake site.  When we visited the site, a number of very well known images can be easily seen.  However, in examining the cliff from end to end, we found a number of less recognizable areas of the rock definitely showing red pigment.  When we prepared the bulletin we did extensive processing of photos of these areas and were able to demonstrate  many images not easily identified with the unaided eye.  Yet there were still some pigmented areas not recognizable with photo processing. 

All of the pigmented area processed photos are included in the bulletin.  We would still like to find photographs taken several decades ago that might show some of these images less decades of weathering.  Since Fishdance Lake is a very commonly traveled lake, we would hope someone would have photos taken some decades ago.

If you have phtos of these areas or know of someone who might, please contact us at info@northwoodsmemoriesmmp.com or call 405-721-6474.

Thanks for your help.

Can You Help Us With the Jordan Narrows Sites

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
submitted by: Bob Evans

The Jordan Narrows sites are on the north side of the channel between Jordan Lake and Ima Lake.  There are reports of as many as three panels of pictographs.  On our several trips to the site we have searched inch by inch and taken numerous photos of areas where red pigments can be seen.  We have subjected those photos to extensive photo analysis attempting to show the images.  We are certain we have found two panels and possibly a third but the third is not conclusive.

 

But even with photo analysis, we have not been able to conclusively demonstrate individual images clearly.  There are many reports of specific images but we have not been able to verify any of them.

We have spoken with a number of outfitters and long-time paddlers who viewed this site decades ago and several have said that the images were quite clear as recently as 30 to 40 years ago.  But none of the folks with whom we have spoken have taken photos or made drawings.

So we need help.  If you have photos taken decades ago or know of folks who might know of people who might have photos or drawings of these images, please help us with that information.   email info@northwoodsmemoriesmmp.com  or call 405-721-6474.

Thanks

Help us with the Namakan Narrows Site.

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
submitted by: Bob Evans

The NamakanNarrows site is fascinating.  It has white images in addition to red ones.  It has a large number of images.  In spite of easy access and many reports, we found two hand  prints that to our knowledge have never been mentioned before.

But the most interesting part of the site is the story of the missing rock.   Dewdney, in his book Indian Rock Paintings of the Great Lakes, describes the site.  On page 41 Dewdney states:

“At Arthur Pohlman’s place I stared in undisguised amazement at a slab of rock from the Namakan site leaning against the wall of his garage:  painted on it a white moose and a red fish-like form.  Pohlman and his brother-in-law, Dr. J. A. Bolz, author of Portage into the Past, had found the 100-pound slab in imminent danger of falling into the water, had rescued it, and were only too happy to accept my offer to deliver it to the Royal Ontario Museum.  There the Namakan Stone now rests.”

We purchased a high resolution photo and the rights to print that photo for the Northwoods Pictographs bulletin about the Namakan Narrows site and the King Williams Narrows site.   In processing that photograph we found other images on the rock not described in the Dewdney account.  Those images are detailed in the Northwoods Pictographs bulletin.

We found in the Ridley Library at French Lake in Quetico, a photo taken very close up of the rock when it was still in place on the cliff.  However, the photo shows very little of the surrounding rock.  From the photos we have and from our visits to the sites we cannot determine with accuracy exactly where on the cliff the fallen rock was located.  Dewdney has a drawing in his book locating the rock just to the left of the white drum and drum stick currently in situ.  But there are intriguing questions. 

If Dewdney first saw the rock in Pohlman’s garage, what information told him the location on the cliff?  If Pohlman and Bolz found it ” in imminent danger of falling into the water” how did they know its location on the cliff other than concluding that it fell directly down from above?  Could it have moved sideways when falling along the rocks on the surface?

So here is the help we need from you:  Dewdney published in 1962.  Does anyone have a photo or photos taken prior to that time that shows the rock with its white moose still on the cliff.  Additionally, do you have a photo that shows enough of the cliff to determine the exact location of the fallen rock on the cliff?  If so, or if you know someone who might have taken early photos in that area, will you please contact us.  email  info@northwoodsmemoriesmmp.com or call 405-721-6474.

Thanks.  We will aknowledge  you!!

Looking for Pictograph Help

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
submitted by: Bob Evans

Progress on the book is being made, but slowly.  Some image processing in black and white is difficult.  When images are specific, such as a canoe, or a cross, or a figure, we are able to select the red image from the background, change it to B&W and then do any one of a number of things to make it easily visible.  In many cases, however, images are abstract and the exact form of the image is not obvious.  While we want to show these images, they cannot be easily lifted from the background and showing them in place is difficult.  But we are persevering and getting better.

In the mean time we are going to try an additional approach.  Many of the unclear images seen now, and in the twenty-five or so years we have been studying them, were once much more clear.  In the course of our work we have visited with many paddlers who viewed a site thirty or forty years ago when it was much more clear than now.

So we are going to ask you, our readers, to help us.  Following will be a series of posts about specific sites where we will describe sites or parts of sites where information in the form of photographs may have been recorded many decades ago.  If you have any of this information or old photos, or know of those who might, please contact us.  While we are constantly searching the net for more information, you may know of references with old photos or diagrams about which we are not aware.   We will, of course, recognize the sources of the information when we publish.

So please read the posts about what we would like to locate and help us out if you can.

A Newly Reported Pictograph Site on Cirrus Lake

Friday, September 23rd, 2011
submitted by: Bob Evans

Late last year we received an email from a friend about some notes from a conversation with Sean Walshe, now deceased, who was the Quetico Park Naturalist for many years.  That note was from the ’80s and had been forgotten until some files were cleaned out and the note found.  While the notes were somewhat confusing, it described a Lynx, like on Darky, and contained a description of the location of the site.  Note that one other  site on Cirrus Lake has been known for many years. 

This past summer we went to the described location and found the site.  It contained one simple image that appeared perhaps to be the body and head of an animal, and could have been a Lynx. We hoped that with some photo processing, we could see the rest of the image.   On arrival home we did some preliminary processing but were not able to identify any other part of the image.  More processing will be done prior to its inclusion in the Cirrus Lake chapter of our book. 

We searched the rest of the cliff face and found no other images.  We photographed much of the surface of the cliff and will examine it with photo processing techniques.   If any other images are found, they will be included when we write the section in our book.

Every time we visit and study a site newly described to us and not previously reported in common references, it provides us with an opportunity to understand more about the culture of the people who left these images on the rocks.  We also become more aware that these images are going away.  The rest of the image of the Lynx has, evidently been eroded away since it was observed in the 80s.  We have expereinced the urge to record all of these sites as they now exist, knowing that every passing period of time makes them less visible.  The loss of these spiritual images is a very unpleasant feeling. 

The complete story of the site and how we learned about it will be included in the Cirrus Lake chapter of our book.

Designing the Format is a Challenge

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
submitted by: Bob Evans

While much text has been written for the 20 Northwoods Pictograph bulletins currently in print, and much photo image processing has been done for the book. the hardest and most difficult part of writing the book is getting it all formatted.  Having never had the experience of writing a book before, we accepted the advice of one of the designers at Fisher Publishing and bought a copy of Adobe InDesign.  This software is especially for working in print media.

We have used the software in producing each of the Northwoods Pictograph bulletins, and now I am using it to format the book.  Among the very laborious tasks in writing a book are things like putting together the Table of Contents, the List of Maps, the List of figures, and the index.  Given that the book will probably not be written from page one to the end page, as chapters are written, and put into order, and shuffled around as the book develops, the pagination must keep up.  Features in InDesign allow one to structure the files to automatically keep up with the page numbering.  Formatting to do the tasks listed above is also possible.

We are now nearly finished with formatting all of these parameters.  This will enable us to write a chapter, and by the way there will be a separate chapter for each lake that has one or more pictograph sites, and fit it into the book file.  Automatically the pagination, tables, and index will all be updated.  Spending the necessary time to format all of this will save tremendous amounts of time and reduce the possibility of errors in the final book.  We have nearly completed this part of the task

We anticipate we will be beginning polishing the chapters and begin to fit them into the book file next week.   We will keep you posted.

A wonderful experience at the Beaverhouse pictograph site.

Monday, August 15th, 2011
submitted by: Bob Evans

Early last July we made a trip to the Beaverhouse pictograph site.  We had been there several times before.  But this trip was special.  As many of you know we made the commitment six years ago to revisit every pictograph site we had visited in the last few decades and to visit every known site we had not visited.  During the course of that incredible challenge, we have met some wonderful people who are interested in pictographs and the culture and religion of the people who put them there.  A few years ago we made contact with Jon Nelson and his wife Marie.  They were rangers in Quetico, first at the Beaverhouse entry and then at Cache Bay and finally at Prairie Portage.  After leaving the Ranger position, Jon reentered graduate school, completed a master’s degree in archaeology, and worked as an archaeologist in Quetico for some time.  He recently published an incredible book, Quetico: Near to Nature’s Heart.  That book is reviewed in an earlier post here.

Jon put me in contact with Glenn Nolan, who was also a Ranger at the Beaverhouse entry some time ago.  Glenn is Native American.  He first reported the pictograph image at the Beaverhouse site that is up high on the cliff and is multicolored.   It is a white and red image of a caribou.  When we first visited this site, we did not find the image.  On corresponding with Jon, he told me of conversations with Glenn that resulted in Edwina and I meeting up with Glenn and his wife, and Jon and his son and daughter-in-law at the Beaverhouse site.  (more…)

We are writing a book!

Sunday, August 14th, 2011
submitted by: Bob Evans

We are writing a book utilizing our nearly 4 decades of studying the pictographs in Canoe Country.  It will include sites in both Quetico and the Boundary Waters as well as a few sites near the borders of the two parks.   During the last 6 summers we have revisited every site we visited during those decades and visited every other site of which we were aware.  During that time we have learned about sites not known to us before.  We discovered a site ourselves.  We have visited two sites that we are convinced are  not authentic.  The book will document 63 sites based on our own personal visit to each site.  Several of these sites have not been reported in writing before.  They will be completely new to the majority of readers.  Material in this book should be complimented by the series Northwoods Pictographs presented elsewhere on this site.

We have documented the exact location of every site.  We have carefully studied the cliffs to find all images possible.    We have done extensive photo analysis and using those tools we have identified many images that cannot be seen at all with the unaided eye.  We have clarified a number of images where the unaided eye only sees some red coloring on the rock.    While some would object to photographing the sites, and doing photo analysis,  these images are going away.  They are being removed from the rock surface by a number of erosion processes.  Water running down the cliffs washes the pigments small amounts at a time.  Wind carrying minute particles of sand and dirt acts like miniature sand blasting.  Lichens grow over the images.  We hope we will be providing a complete and accurate record of all known sites.  We are positive others will be discovered in the future, but we will report all currently known to us.

  We have personally benefited  from the study of the culture and religion from which the images have come.  It has been very rewarding learning about these images and the messages they convey.  We have decided to share our learning experiences with others who are interested.

This category will keep interested visitors to our site up to date.  We will write a chapter on each lake known to have a site.  We will post when each chapter is started and will post interesting things about each lake.  We hope to add a new page to the web site which will keep track in tabular form the progress on the book.  We hope you will become interested enough to follow along on the progress.