Ya at eeh

10.10.2017

 

 

 

Ya at eeh! (Hello in Navajo) I have always been attracted to those things complicated but simplified. An example is my passion for Native American  Petroglyphs and pictographs, carvings or paintings on rock surfaces that appear as simple geometry or abstract lines and squiggles, but when studied at length, reveal much complexity. I have studied on how to read and interpret them, which is fascinating in itself as you don't read them from left to right, or up or down. You must take in the elements of the work piece as a whole, and only then figure the meaning of the message. Often the carvings are direct derivatives of their sign language. With over 500 dialects in California alone, sign language was the universal form of communication with the many tribes here..  

I traveled around with a fellow enthusiast to photograph some of these works as at that time I wanted to write a book about Petroglyphs in Northern California. The proposed cover of the book is in the attached photo. Out of over 200 petroglyphs at this site, this was the only one that was carved vertical instead of flat on the ground rock.

I like to think it was someone who was an artist in the tribe. They way it is grouped and carved vertically, . This picture roughly translates to a story of a journey by a group of people. The circle with the dot in center and radiating arms, denotes "A group of people moving outward" The "M" shape is likely a mountain pass. Next to that is a river symbol. Above that is a crescent shape like a quarter moon. This could be a moon. But in most Tribes symbolism, this crescent stands for "turned aside". So the story could read as " A group of people went on a journey over a mountain pass only to be turned around by a raging river on the other side". The area is not far from a river on the other side of some mountains in the Sierra Nevada.

 

Anyway, I have a lot of interests. Too many for one blog post.

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