Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Native Peoples :: Petroglyphs

I've been doing so many blog hops lately that I haven't had a chance to get back to some of my own series. 

A while back my bloggy friend Christine from One Kiss Creations gifted me some cool rocks she picked up on the shore of Lake Michigan. This one is smooth like sand with just a little impression in the rock on the lower end of this focal. Christine did a drill for me, as I have yet to figure out how to set up a drilling station. Thank you for that! It got me thinking about rock carvings, and so I used petroglyphs as an inspiration for this piece. 

You all know me by now, and you know I'm going to do a little homework on petroglyphs which are found world-wide and associated with prehistoric peoples dating back tens of thousands of years ago. The word comes from the Greek word petro (meaning stone) and glyphein (meaning to carve). I thought I'd give a little tour of some of the more prominent petroglyphs focused to circles. 

There are the ki‘i pōhaku from the Hawaiians (ki‘i means image, and pōhaku means stone). The first trip my husband and I ever took (my then boyfriend) was to Kauai, which is the oldest island in the chain and has history, stories and carvings. There are petroglyphs of canoes, paddles, sails and fishhooks as well as circles and dots associated with the piko ceremony. This ceremony takes the umbilical cord from a newborn and places it in the middle of a simple concentric circle, or petroglyph. This was done to infuse mana (divine power) to the child ensuring long life.

Ometepe Island, an island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua has one of the densest petroglyph concentrations in the world. The carvings are pre-Columbian full of spirals and circles. The early inhabitants of the island saw it as their promised land. The Maderas was a sacred place of the sun.

I think my favorite is a stone found in Ireland called The Seven Suns which is thought to be a representation of a total eclipse of the sun. It is also known as a radiating sun or radiant divine eye which is carved onto a megalithic stone block at a prehistoric tomb near Dowth, one of the Irish 'tomb shrines.'

The necklace I created is inspired by these petroglyph circles. I used a double spiral charm, one on each side of the focal and connected with hammered silver. The beaded chain is a simple spiral using earth tones and wood beads to give a more rustic look. I have to thank Christine for the rocks she gifted me. They are clearly providing a lot of inspiration in some of my designs.

20 comments:

BIKBIK AND RORO said...

Fascinating post, and beautiful necklace! A perfect balance of earthy and sophisticated :)

Jacquelineand.... said...

Brilliant necklace! Wonder what you would do with a croonie stone, (aka Odin stone, hag stone, etc...)hmmm.

Duni said...

I used to collect stones as a child. I love the one you used here for a pendant and I love how you attached the swirly silver bits. Perfect!!
Interesting to read about the Hawaiian ceremony!

Gloria said...

I enjoy the backstories and the cultural connections you share in these posts. Your jewelry connects across those boundaries. Pretty stone from Chris, your design is lovely!

Claudia Aguilar said...

I like the little impression on the bottom of the rock, very earthy necklace. You are so talented. The piko ceremony sounds very interesting.

Christine Altmiller said...

the Sun ones from Ireland are my favorites but really, any rock carvings and rock paintings are pretty darn cool! now you have me googling "petroglyphs in the US" as my potential getaway. your necklace is beautiful and unique and i just love your own spin with the swirled bail. that little impression on the rock is the reason it made it into the rock bag to come home with me. i cannot wait to give you more!!!

Memories for Life said...

I just love how each of your pieces has a story! Your work is beautiful and made more interesting by the research you do :)

Paige @ Little Nostalgia said...

This is so fascinating! Thanks for telling us a little more about a subject many of us don't learn much about.

Eyelah said...

That is so interesting. I love hearing stories of people from thousands of years ago. I just love the history. Also, I featured your Carnelian earrings on my blog today!

Miss Val's Creations said...

I love what you did with Christine's rock! My dad gave me an extra drill recently but power tools are scary. It would be so fun to be able to drill into rocks and such. Petroglyphs are so interesting. It is so cool interpreting old carvings!!!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

I like the earthy feel of this piece. The chain is a very pretty pattern, too.

Nancy said...

How neat! Thats a great bit of history too!

Caron Michelle said...

Ooooh - this is so kool, that was a fascinating read and great pics to look at as well. Fabulous!

Magic Love Crow said...

Such an interesting post! I love what you created!

Patti Van said...

One of these days, I am going to answer a question correctly on JEOPARDY and it will be because I learned something from reading your blog! :) This is truly beautiful and yet again, I am thanking you for my bit of education today!

BamaTrav said...

I brought back a bunch of seashells that I found that were flat and smooth like that. I was at the beach breifly over Thanksgiving.

EWA gyöngyös világa! / EWA's World of Beads! said...

Beautiful necklace! Congrats!

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Cynthia,
Thank you for sharing I enjoyed reading about petroglyphs and their meanings. Your necklace is very pretty and I love the rustic feel of it. Christine has a real eye for picking out some wonderful rocks.
Therese

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

What a stunning necklace! I love collecting stones along the shore. I could spend hours doing so and not realizing how much time has passed! Your beadwork design is fabulous-it really ties everything together beautifully. Thanks for sharing some history about petroglyphs. I photographed some really amazing ones in New Mexico.

Splendid Little Stars said...

The necklace is lovely, Cynthia!
I find petroglyphs fascinating, too. I've seen them in the southwest US. I been to Kauai twice but sadly didn't even hear about petroglyphs there.

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