Sunday, November 16, 2008

Betcha' didn't know!

The photo is by my wife Janis, my favorite photographer in the whole world. Her pictures ain't bad either.

The photo is a huge file, so you can click on it and make it enormous, she took the picture for me to put on my blog, so if there is anyboby out there that wants to flat thief it, go ahead. This image is for proof and posterity.

This rock is a well known rock and many of you have been within a stones throw of it many times. Many, many times. Do you know what it is called and where it is? After the name of the Rock is guessed I will give you more info on it.

Meanwhile, don't stop commenting on the commercials you like/don't like in the post below.

Ben and Kym both guessed right:
Well, you are both right. When I was just a wee child my dad had a job hauling lumber to San Francisco. Sometimes my mother and my sister and I would get to ride along. The two things that I remember about those trips are the Golden Gate Bridge and Squaw Rock.

Driving down there, my dad pulled of the side of the, then very narrow highway 101, and ask me if I could see the Squaw leaning against the Rock. I saw this same vision that is in the photograph. I knew an Indian woman in Laytonville, and she had the very same face. After that I always looked for the face on the rock along the road. For a long time the trees along the road blocked the face from view. The other day when I drove down there, I noticed that some of the trees were missing and you can see the face again. Following that trip I asked my wife to take a photo for me because she knows how to make the silhouette stand out. I think that she took a perfect picture don’t you?

One of the things that I think is imperative to say; many times recently I have heard that the term “Squaw” is derogatory. As always when questions like that come up, I have “Indigenous People” (The term comes from an Indian friend) friends to ask. Some are offended, and others say it is ridiculous. Some are proud to be called a squaw, some are emphatically not.
I find it sad that it seems to be true, that any label will eventually become derogatory. I will be glad to start using new terminology when they come up with a proud name for an Indian woman. Fitting to the respect she deserves, and fitting to be a proud indication that she is a Female Indigenous Woman. I have the vision but not the word.

I was never raised to think of the word “Squaw” as being anything but respectful, and I am now shocked to find some think that it is not. Do we have to screw up everything?


ben said...

Ernie... I think it's the top of Squaw Rock south of Hopland... Now I'm kinda' cheating since we talked about it the other day and I feel sorta guilty about jumping in first but if I'm right, there's lots more to say about it. If I'm wrong, then I'm clueless.

Kym said...

I'm with Ben--that looks like Squaw Rock.

Kym said...

I remember when I first became aware that squaw had negative connotations, I was flabbergasted. Must have been something up here Ernie that made us locals think that squaw was like using lady. (Although, I always was horrified by buck even as a wee youngun.)

ben said...

My Salmon Creek friend, Joy, was involved for many years in an organization (state? national?) which concerns itself with place names. Most of their work is historical but they do get involved with names that convey negative racial connotations. When these are discovered, there is a process for changing the names. A primary example is the word nigger. frequently used in various areas including SoHum. Nigger Head out near Rainbow Ridge is an example. It no longer appears on maps for obvious reasons. Some time back, Joy told me there was to be a conference on the word Squaw. It is considered offensive by Native Americans as pejorative toward women. The curious fact is that this attitude is the result of white uses of the word rather than the actual Algonquian word squaw which means woman.
In the SoHum bar slang I am familiar with, squaw was used to designate a single woman who moved from man to man or a temporary hookup for a man. Definitely offensive though not aimed at Native American Women alone but any race would do. We have at least two Squaw Creeks in SoHum and on unmapped Squaw Rock. So this brings us to the question of whether or not the name squaw is offensive enough to warrant change. I believe that many Native Americans dislike the word intensely and would prefer to see a change. Now, for me, this brings up another question. Should the various creeks, valleys, buttes and rocks named for local pioneers who have been discovered to be actors in the genocide and kidnapping which decimated our Indian population and destroyed a vibrant culture also be erased and replaced with less controversial names? Hank Larribee was the only participant in the Indian Island massacre who actually bragged about his actions. George Woodman of the Laytonville area was a notorious slaver and dealer in Indian children. Ben Arthur admitted going on Indian hunting expeditions almost every month when he was a Round Valley pioneer. Jim Neafus was a bad actor along with his Asbill partners. It's a long list of name changes. What do you think?

ross sherburn said...

yep!as a youngster,on our trips to san francisco,this was one our stops to take a dad would tell us what history he knew of it.

ben said...

Ross brought up one of my pet peeves and that is how Cal Trans has destroyed several great view stops and Squaw Rock was one of the best.

ross sherburn said...

i haven't been past there in several there no longer a big wide area to pull off on???

Ernie Branscomb said...

Ben, thank-you for speaking frankly and openly about historical place names. Sometimes it’s difficult to accept, but our history is important also. Our history should bear some reminders of our brutal past.

It actually hurts me to see people be disrespected for no good reason. But if we are going to change names, we need something better than “Female North American Indigenous Person”. It’s not for us to decide what to call people. They should give us a name to refer to them by. Some would say that we shouldn’t have labels, but I don’t agree with that. If I called you a “historian”, it is one of the best labels that I could give you in this context. So, we need labels. I see no reason the great American Indigenous Person should not have a title of respect. But, to what extent should we be changing names. For instance why would Caltrans Make up a B.S. story about the Indian Maiden that caught her cheating lover with another Indian maiden and was so heart broken that she jumped off the rock and killed herself. I fail to see how that is more respectful of the Indian culture that “Squaw Rock”.

I really think that the reason that they made-up the B.S. story, is so people would not stop along the narrow stretch of the road to look at the rock from afar. Where the ‘Female North American Indigenous Persons” face will show

Maybe the Indian people could start a campaign to make the word “squaw” respectful again. They have done a great job of giving the name “Indian” respect. Hardly anyone that I know of anymore is offended by that term, and hardly anyone that I know uses it in a derogatory fashion. “Indian” is now a name with high regard and respect attached to it.

As to Caltrans and their, so-it-seems, plot-to-foul-up-natural-beauty-and-the-view. The berm alongside the road in South Leggett Valley was one of the most disturbing things that I ever seen them do. The berm hides one of the most beautiful scenes on the north coast. Before that berm, you could see out across unobstructed beauty of forest and valley, trees of all kinds of nature, all the way to the coast. No power lines, no houses, nothing but pure natural north coast beauty. Originally, I screamed bloody murder about it, and they said that they had no other choice because the mud and weather was making their regular dumping spot inaccessible, and they would move it later. The damn thing is still there! Why not use some of those “Emergency Bail-out Funds” to put some people to work to and give us back our view of the beautiful north coast. Who the hell do they work for anyway.

Okay, three deep breaths and a smile, and I will be better again.

Indie said...

In colonial days, when empiricist countries were establishing colonies, they usually aggressively wiped out indigenous languages-- except in place names.

In England, the few traces of Welsh are in place names. In the U.S. many states etc are words from various native tribes.

Just adding that to the discussion. It doesn't address whether Squaw Rock is a racist or derogatory name. But is an interesting sideline, maybe?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Well. I finally found the wording on the plaque at the bottom of “Lovers Leap”. What a bunch of unmitigated horse crap! I found it under "LOVERS LEAP", and the following BS story is one of the finest compilations Bullshistory that I’ve ever heard. It is a real testament to the remarkable engineering skills of the wily “Female North American Indigenous Persons” that I’ve ever heard described.

First she had to have a lover dumb enough to cheat on her under a 400 foot precipace, then he had to find a woman to cheat with that was willing to think of a rock pile as a love nest. Then the spurned “Maiden” sneaked up to the top of the rock and gathered up a “great stone“. She had to mentally calculate her tragic trajectory to land squarely on, not one but both lovers, from 400 feet above. Too bad she killed herself, she would qualify to be the head of the NASA program today.

This plaque was provided for you by the good politicians of The State of California, the people that can’t even pass a budget without lying about it….

Historical Landmark
This early landmark, also called Lover's Leap, is associated with the purported legend of a 19th-century Sanel Indian maiden, Sotuka. Her faithless lover, Chief Cachow, married another, all three were killed when Sotuka, holding a great stone, jumped from the precipice upon the sleeping pair below.

Registration Date: 1/17/1956

City: Hopland
County: Mendocino

Approx 6 mi S of Hopland on Hwy 101 (P.M. 5.1)

Ernie Branscomb said...

Indie, sadly the rock was not named to honor anyone, but named because it looks like an Indian female, which indeed it does.

It doesn't have to be derogatory. All over the world there are visages in stone with legends fitting to the culture, describing how they were turned to stone. I guess that some of the stories are pretty far fetched also. Dang, I over-reacted again. I guess that I was just angry that the truth wasn’t good enough for the “Plaque Makers”.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Link to Squaw Rock

EkoVox said...

You know, as cultures change and styles of people come and go in our region, perhaps we should name some of our scenic landmarks with current, Hippie Peak or Kush Grower's Ridge or even Mateel Fisticuff's meadow.

Begone with the landmark names of old...usher in the new. Oh yeah, Rainbow Ridge is fine just the way it is.

Anonymous said...

Ernie... Now I'm going off topic. Remember the view stop down near Cummings? It looked up the South Fork toward Branscomb. Gone. The road was changed because of the slide and no more pull out. The old orchards at the southbound weigh station and the Phillipsville rest stop. Also gone. The State doesn't like people picking their apples.
Stupid plaques, such as the Squaw Rock one, can be changed. The marvelously offensive one at Round Valley was changed some years back. The old one described how the valley was "discovered" by six white guys. It tended to piss off the Indians who usually had it covered with a pretty good coat of paint. There was a big celebration when the State finally put up something decent and folks brought rocks to be placed around the base. It was great.
Somehow, history has recorded that when those six guys (called the Kelsey Party) rode down into the valley, they were attacked by Indians and killed forty. What the historians failed to report was that the Asbills claimed they were attacked by three thousand Indians! Six guys with muzzle loaders were attacked by three thousand Indians and survived. Talk about bullshistory. There is an example that wound up in Carranco's book. If he was alive, I sure would have some questions.

ben said...

The anonymous posting was me.

spyrock said...

ON 14 MAY 1854, SIX MISSOURIAN EXPLORERS crested a steep ridge, some 150 miles north of San Francisco. After days of hard travel through mountainous, broken terrain, they encountered a stunning sight. Spread below them was 25,000 acres of lush, flat land. The next day, the six horsemen descended to the floor of what is now known as Round Valley, in northern Mendocino County. According to Frank Asbill, son of one of the six, "they had not gone far when the tall, waving, wild oats began to wiggle in a thousand different places all at the same time." The group's leader, Pierce Asbill, then called out: "We've come a long way from Missouri to locate this place ... an' be danmed if wigglin' grass 'ull keep us away! Git a–hold of yer weapons—we'uns are goin' in!" 1
Reaching a creek bed, the six horsemen reportedly encountered three thousand Yuki Indians. "A war hoop went up from the Missourians [who] just lay over the horse[s'] neck[s] and shot ... They just rode them down ... It was not difficult to get an Indian with every shot ... When the shootin' was over, thirty-two dead and dying [Yuki] lay scattered." By the end of the day perhaps forty Indians were dead.2 The massacre was a prelude to an American genocide. 2
is this what yer talkin about. but i guess they knew we was cummin, lookyhere,Andrew Freeman, affiliated with the Nomlaki tribe, gave this account in 1936 -- passed down from older tribe members├»¿½of the arrival of whites. WE HAD A MAN at Thomas Creek that had power given to him. He was young. He sang all the time. He drank water and ate once a month. He ate a little of everything, then took one swallow of water and smoked. He stayed in the sweat-house all the time. Now our captain [chief] used to get out early every morning on top of the sweat-house and, calling everybody by name, would tell them what to do. This fortuneteller from Thomas Creek would tell the people just how much game they would get and whether any mishaps would fall. He lived across from our present reservation at Paskenta. One day he said, "There are some people from across the ocean who are going to come to this country." He looked for them for three years. "They have come kind of boat with which they can cross, and they wil1 make it. They are on the way." Finally he said that they were on the land and that they were coming now. He said that they had fire at night and lots to eat. "They cook the same as we do; they smoke after meals, and they have a language of their own. They talk, laugh, and sing, just as we do. Besides, they have five fingers and toes, they are built like we are, only they are light." He said their blood was awfully light. "They have a four-legged animal which some are riding and some are packing. They haven't any wives, any of them. They all are single. They are bringing some kind of sickness." So everybody was notified. The night watch and day watch were kept. He said that they had something long which shoots little round things a long distance. They have something short that shoots just the same. Finally the whites came in at. my mom told me that squaw rock story the first time we drove by it back in 51. grandma nye told me the story as well. i don't remember anything about adultry but i was 4 years old. i don't think they would tell it to me that way anyway. but we always looked forward to seeing that rock. it had an energy of its own. just like seeing spyrock. or looking for seabiscuit in every horse pasture we drove by. these places seem to possess a special energy we looked forward to feeling.

ross sherburn said...

spyrock,you mentioned andrew freeman.everett freeman and his son andrew live about two hundred yards from me.

spyrock said...

ross, this stuff was from the ukiah daily journal, oct 25, the covelo history project. i just pasted it on here. this deja vu stuff seems to happen pretty often between me an ernie and now you, sort of like you think what i'm thinkin about before i do.
well, i'm anonymous, spyrock is not my real name. and there have been several things mentioned lately that i can't talk about for various reasons. but all the same, these names pop up out of peoples mouths on here. i guess i would be lying to say that i didn't expect coincidence or connection.
and because our ancestors knew of each others families, things trigger. uncle delbert never did like to talk about ufo's when he was out watchin cattle at night.
but he'd see em and keep it to himself as long as he could.

ross sherburn said...

spyrock,my dad was born on fairbanks road in covelo in 1901.guess i listened to his stories more than i thought i had??like i told ernie one time,i've been out of the area for quite sometime now,but i do remember a lot from the yester years!

spyrock said...

i was raised by spyrock people and they made sure i respected everything and everyone. they might have called the local indians diggers but that's what tribe they thought they belonged to because everyone else called them diggers back then. otherwise, they respected them like they would anyone else. my mom was old school and all those kids at her school were her kids whether they were mexican, white, black, indian, rich or poor. that wasn't part of the criteria. being her kid was all that mattered. so i have a problem when i hear people tag somebody with a name like hippie, redneck, or any other sterio type based on the way someone looks or acts. and this has been hard for me in this lifetime because i swear i was this really judgemental old man when i died in my last lifetime. so they stuck me back on earth to get nailed by spyrock people for every time i tried to judge someone or see the world as fear or loathsome. i don't know how good a job they did on me. but i was way more afraid of them than anyone else in my life and i've tried. sometimes i can actually look past all the crap and just see human beings out there. i guess that's what it looks like on the top of spyrock, everyone just looks like human beings from a distance. but up close, we start getting particular.
but i'm trying to identify with that vision up there on spyrock and leave my old predjudices behind. that's my story and i'm stickin to it.

ross sherburn said...

spyrock,could you tell me a little more about the covelo history project???printed material?online?etc? thanks!

spyrock said...

hi ross, try this link out.
it starts out saying "deputy files suit over covelo workplace" 15 pages of stuff.
i think its called the ukiah daily journal forum.
i loved your stories about bigfoot. some friends of mine say they saw one near cave junction, oregon near a place called omlishivalcun. they say it manifested a "white light" during its getaway. they didn't say nothing about the smell. i saw something in my dad's cellar. i always thought there was a monster down there. one day i saw him. he scared the poop out of me at first and then i remembered a book i was reading about not resisting evil, so i started showing love to this green and red reptilian being sort of like that predator dude and i got zapped by his "white light" and he or it started singing a song to me but i couldn't hear the words with my ears, but i heard it just the same.
uncle delbert used to call me "richard the lizard." maybe he could sense that lizard hanging around me because he had good hunting instincts.
carlos castenada called those things allies.
maybe alien would have been more on the mark.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Interesting link to Covelo history.
provided by Spyrock.

"it starts out saying "deputy files suit over covelo workplace" 15 pages of stuff."

Covelo history

ross sherburn said...

thanks spyrock,i'll give it a try!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing such personal medecine stories spyrock.
Medecine protects its own.

Tammy Carr said...

I always heard it being called "Princes Rock" I was told there was an Indian princes whom's lover was killed at war she was so heartbroken about it she leaped of the rock in order to end her pain from the loss of her beloved warrior. That story is more believable than any I've read above. Besides I believe in reincarnation and I know in my last past life I was an Indian princes whom killed herself over her lovers death and have been attracted to the rock ever since I first saw it while driving through Mendocino County.