Shaman Petroglyphs of Maine

Blogpic-ET-petroglyphs-1500x1000There are over 500 petroglyphs at nine sites in Machias Bay in Maine.

Blogpic-ET-petroglyphs-250x374All were made between 380 and 3,000 years ago.  According to Mark Hedden, an archaelogist for the Maine State Historical Commission, they are the work of tribal Shamans (medicine men) of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and may represent an evolution of the public performances of the interaction between shaman and spirit.  The petroglyphs illustrate the concept of spiritual metamorphosis, according to Hedden.  Many of the petroglyphs appear to be anthropomorphic figures that are infused with the image and spirit of animals such as birds, serpents or other powerful spirits that support the hunt and/or other social

Blogpic-ET-petroglyphs-505x287During this period, the Passamaquoddy occupied the Maine coast from the mouth of the KennebecRiver easterly into central New BrunswickProvince. Six different styles of petroglyphs have been identified as occurring throughout this period. Seasonal gatherings involving more than one hundred canoes loaded with Indian visitors took place at MachiasBay as late as the 1790s. European settlers reported that the sounds of drumming could be heard through the night.  The petroglyphs are on land that recently transferred to the Passamaquoddy tribe institutions.

 

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