Emblems of Mythology

"Emblems of Mythology"
Shanawdithit sketched six ochre-coloured two metre high staves which Cormack called "Emblems of Mythology." Three of these staves have geometrical shapes at the upper end. The one with small squares, called "Ash-wa-meet" was used in what may have been a ritual involving special regalia and songs. The three other staves are topped by recognisable objects: a half-moon shape, a whale’s tail, and a fishing boat. The half-moon shape or "kuus" indicates a particular significance of the moon, but the function and importance of all of these staves remains unknown.

From James P. Howley, The Beothuks or Red Indians: the Aboriginal Inhabitants of Newfoundland (Cambridge: University Press, 1915) opposite p. 249.

Aboriginal Peoples - Table of Contents Site Map Search Heritage Web Site Home