Friday, September 30, 2011

A Sweat Lodge Site

On the shoulder of  an outcrop in the woods, I see this unusual structure. It appears to be the  end of a loose stone row composed of  small standing stones oriented  edge to edge.
The stone row leads to this round structure.
This looks like a sweat lodge base.  There is no water nearby, so I presume this structure had ceremonial instead of merely hygienic use.
     The outcrop this lodge rests on is this one, which I used as an example in the 9/3 posting. The slab on top looks like a manitou from the sweat lodge base. At the site in 9/3 posting, the rock was quarried away until only a large slab resembling a manitou was standing.  This same process might have been going on here, but was interrupted.
The rock in this area is layered and breaks off into slabs.  This site is next to this outcrop, which is the junction for a very long wall composed of standing slabs.
I will describe this wall in greater detail in the next post.  Standing the stones face-to-face is the most inefficient use of material.  The cost of building this wall in time, labor, and  materials suggests its importance. Perhaps there was some great significance to the outcrop the stone came from.
     Here  is the site on an early summer morning:
I have to confess to using some artistic license to place  the structure in the first photo in the painting.  The stone row is about twice as long.  After I finished the painting, I realized the skins on the sweat lodge were blocking the viewer's path through the painting, so I revised it.

1 comment: