Social Patterning in “Rock Art”
And Other Symbolic Objects of the
Interior Salish

1974. By Grant Keddie When undertaking the analysis of the organizational and symbolic content of rock art one would assume that the first step would be to base such studies on a locally derived ethnographic model. Such is often not the case as one still reads statements to the effect that rock art cannot be interpreted as it is the product of some individual psychic experience. If one takes the time to read the existing literature it is clear that most rock art representation is a product of specific kinds of social conditioning. The imagery of the art is not a random factor but a culturally controlled and cultivated phenomena. Among the Interior Salish spirit identity and the power, which a spirit gave, were associated with visible fabricated … Continue reading “Social Patterning in “Rock Art”
And Other Symbolic Objects of the
Interior Salish”

Petroglyphs, Heaven and Earth

By Grant Keddie For up to thousands of years, figures have been carved in stone along the beaches and in forests stretching around the Pacific Rim from California to China. Some of the human face and animal design elements found in British Columbia show interesting parallels with those found along the coast of Siberia. One of the most common questions I am asked in regard to these rock carvings or petroglyphs is what are they, and what do they mean? Were these designs pecked into the rock by a shaman for a special purpose? We cannot understand these images by trying to analyze them from the perspective of our modern culture. We need to look to traditional aboriginal cultures that … Continue reading “Petroglyphs, Heaven and Earth”