Thursday, January 21, 2010

Indian Burial Mounds

Sorry I haven't written lately I have had computer issues at work and at home.

As I have said I would write about Native American Burial mounds in Newaygo County. There isn't a week that goes by that we don't get a patron coming in or calling about them in the area. They want to know if they could be on their land, where they are located, If you dig them up what would you find?

I have a tendency to get on my soap box on this subject. Some day I will have a Patron get upset with me but I feel it is wrong to dig these up or show disrespect for any reason. It is sacrilegious to dig them up or in anyway deface them.

Newaygo County has 234 lakes and 356 miles of rivers and streams that has a rich history along their shores of Native American villages, hunting and fishing grounds. Many of the mounds are also in the woodlands and prairies in the county. There were literally thousands but sadly the numbers are shrinking every year. I do have to give credit to Consumer's Energy Company here in the county that actually have fenced in several mounds and protect them along a river bank.

I am unsure what we can do about saving them. I have worked with the Native American Council a few years ago to research, count and preserve some mounds that was "in the way" of development. Fortunately we preserved them but for how long? The council did open a couple up with a blessing from a shaman and was re buried with the proper prayers and respect. They did not allow anyone there except Native American Shamans and the researchers from the Council who were all of Native American blood. They did share the information that there were signs of shells, bones and not much else. So please people realize this is someones ancestor! Would you like it if someone dug up your ancestors out of curiosity? Your not going to gain great riches or find artifacts for your mantle. Let the dead remain buried where they are.

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