COLORADO RIVER GEOGYLPHS CAPTURES TODAY’S IMAGINATION
BUT CARRIES YESTERDAY’S SACRED HOPES AND PRAYERS
BLYTHE INTAGLIO FIFTEEN MILES NORTH OF BLYTHE CA JUST WEST OF CASR 95 ON A BENCH ABOVE THE COLORADO RIVER
The studies of Yuman People by South West Anthropologist Leslie Spier center on interviews of folks in their 70-80’s in the mid-1930’s about their early life, one chapter dealt with Shaman or religious leaders capable of astro-projection, in this tale the leader slept on when and where to attack his enemy and in his sleep he saw his enemy camped behind a mountain and the next days his warriors found the encampment where it was reported.
The Blythe Geoglyphs or Intaglios may have been a prayer to their God and the drawings an intimate communication with a divine figure who they associated with the river. Nearby another man shape is seen near another glyph of an animal, the light shapes were created by moving aside the rock or soil cement covering of the hard landscape revealing the desert floor beneath it, the removed rock, has been covered by a rock varnish or patina, which darkens the desert floor in contrast to the lightly-colored sand. Three different Arizona Tribes have found explanations for the Blythe Intaglios in their origin stories, the Mohave, the Hopi and the Quechan Tribe who said the large figure was one of a evil giant from the Parker area who terrorized folks living along the river and those folks solicited help from the God of the Sea who saw their plight and sent a large octopus upstream to entice the giant stream side and then two tentacles grabbed his legs and two grabbed his arms and dragged him into the stream and finally in a huge struggle drowning the evil giant and taking the body back downstream to the sea. The octopus is seen in the glyph next to the man drawing whereas the other two tribal versions claim that drawing to be one of a mountain lion who assisted their deity in the creation of the world.
Octopus vs Mt Lion ? Personally I think it has a tail and not eight arms, but I much prefer the Octopus tale…
Geoglyphs are found elsewhere along the River, Patton’s tanks drove over one glyph their tank tracks run through it damaged in training for WWII. The Fisherman is found on the Arizona side near Bouse north of Quartzite, it shows another man shape, this one with a spear, apparently fishing in the river and the spear’s point is made entirely of quartz, overhead is a fiery sun. There are fish in the stream. THE FISHERMAN, this geoglyph is found 25 miles from the river next to a trail used by natives accessing the stream and is thought to be a prayer to their God to reward their journey with a bounty of fish for their efforts. In recent years many more glyphs have been found and many more protected by fencing, like the Bouse Fisherman. Elsewhere is the Fort Mohave Twin figures, the Parker Rattlesnake, which is 50 meters in length, the Mystic Maze, The Racetrack, The Shaman or the Horse Intaglio thought to be a commemoration of the first meeting of natives peoples with a horse and is therefore historically much younger in age and distinctly more artful horse design. Horse Intaglio Elsewhere we find mounds, interlocking ovals, geometric circles, Vision Quest Circles and Power Circles have been identified and some studied like the Lizard which is 8 meters in length, the Spider is 8 meters square or the Quechan Stickman which is 25 meters by 6 meters and is incorporated into a prehistoric foot trail according to Boma Johnson’s 1986 BLM study of the EARTH FIGURES of the LOWER COLORADO and GILA RIVER DESERTS.. More than two-hundred images have been discovered along the river from Nevada to the Gulf of California. All told, six-hundred-plus geoglyphs have been recorded in the Southwest and nearby areas of Mexico.
SOIL CEMENT PAVES THE TERRAIN ANCIENT MAN PEELED BACK THE ROCK TO REVEAL HIS THOUGHTS TO HIS GOD …
Quartzsite Intaglio Earthworks