Desert Messenger

April 4, 2012

Desert Messenger is your local connection for news, events, and entertainment!

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 12 of 23

April 4, 2012 Desert Messenger celebrates the Arizona Centennial with Voices from The Past in Quartzsite, AZ Excerpts from "In the Shadow of Saguaros" by Rosalee Oldham Wheeler PETROGLYPHS - Indian Picture Writings Throughout the years we've had newspapers, and later radio and television to keep us informed about the local, state, national, and world news. Communication has come a long way since prehistoric times when the Native American Indians communicated and spread the word by using small stones to peck out images on solid dark-rock surfaces. The petroglyphs that resulted from those peckings were the predominant method of com- munication in ancient Southwestern Arizona. Many petroglyphs can be found around Quartzsite. Prehistoric Indians followed the game and migrated south staying within a day's walk of the Colorado River spending the winter months where it was warm and the game plentiful. These Indians gathered seeds from the mesquite trees and put them deep in grinding holes carved out from large fl at boulders where the beans were then ground into a nutritious beanmeal. Grinding holes and petroglyphs can be found at a site known as the Picture Rock located less than fi ve miles south of Quartzsite. These works represent a very interesting history of Indian art that spanned several thousand years. Years ago water could be found almost year-round at Picture Rock. The water collected at the site is the confl uence of the Tyson Wash draining from the Kofa Mountains in the east and the Eight Mile Wash from the Dome Mountains in the west. After a hard rain these two main washes carry runoff with such force that when the waters collide at the Picture Rock it swirls around the base, digging down deep into the sand creating a won- derful pond of water. The watering hole has long been a natural retreat for animal, birds, and our honeybees. On the west side of the Tyson Wash, in the normally dry stream bed, are a large group of boulders. On top of the boulders are grind- ing holes about 10 to 12-inches deep. Large hand-held rock pestles were used by the In- dians to grind the mesquite beans. From this vantage point atop the huge boulders the Indians could watch for game coming in for water while keeping busy grinding their IRONWOOD OUTPOST PO Box 4750 225 CENTRAL BLVD Quartzsite, AZ 85359-4750 Private Mail Boxes Copies -Fax - Notary UPS and FedEx Shipping 928-927-8543 (office) 928-550-7020 (fax) Give us a call: 1-800-560-8061 Your RV and Auto Windshield Specialists! 41 West Main St., Quartzsite, AZ beanmeal. Among other things the Picture Rock petroglyphs left messages about the type of game that watered there. Other sites pecked-out messages about lizards, big horn sheep, deer, coyotes, owls, snakes, centipedes, foxes, badgers, eagles, scorpi- ons, as well as men, women, and children. At several sites are images of the tracks of animals found in the area. The Indians also pecked-out various cer- emonial symbols. One was that of a hump- backed fl ute player. Ko- kopelli was thought of as a rain priest calling for water as he played his fl ute. Some archaeologists believe the fl ute was associated with hunting. Drawings of trian- gular humans are from the Basket Maker Period of the early Christian era. From that time on petroglyphs made by the Indians didn't change much. Drawings of men on horseback defi nitely indicate the time when the Spanish came through the Southwest. Picture writing petroglyphs have been a Page 13 was an important form of communication. The northern tribes seemed to have very artistic drawings. This may account for why the simpler more crude work was done predominantly by the Indians of Southern Arizona and the more detailed, smoother drawings by the inhabitants of the northern Pueblo dwellings. For years I have been fascinated with the In- dian picture writings found around Quartz- site and when a new site was found I would go and enjoy this beautiful ancient art. What I didn't know was that the petroglyphs wouldn't al- ways be here for our poster- ity to enjoy. I will never un- derstand how anyone could intentionally destroy these precious drawings. If you should happen to see some- one defacing a petroglyph, please report it to the Bureau of Land Management or the Bureau of Indian Affairs. We feature of the American Indians for thou- sands of years. Hundreds of years ago the Indians painted the inside of their mud houses by slapping a paint-covered hand onto the mud wall. The cutting, or incising, into rock surfaces was done mostly by Indi- ans in Southern Arizona. Though the man- ner of drawing or pecking may differ from tribe or area, for thousands of years this must all strive to preserve and protect these ancient Indian writings. And remember, if you are fortunate enough to come across one, know that what you are viewing is a lost art. Like their white brothers, the modern American Indian has also turned to modern methods of communication. The pecking sounds of a small stone hit- ting a fl at rock surface are falling silent forever. "Since 1992, we've only trusted Jeff, owner of Windshield Magic, with our auto and RV glass. Jeff always does quality work, gives us very affordable prices, delivers on time and treats us Why Choose & Trust Windshield Magic? • Over 22 years RV install experience • The highest customer quality rating • Work with all Insurance companies, including Candian • Here in Quartzsite from Nov. to April • Help with your insurance deductible • From rock chips to full replacements, we'll gladly do it all. like family. We wouldn't go anywhere else!" Roy T. Livingston, TX "We're looking forward to meeting you and getting you safely on the road again" Jeff and Nonda Certificate! Gift Silly Al's Pizza with RV Windshield replacement YUMMY!

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Desert Messenger - April 4, 2012