Utah’s outstanding Native American rock images is the subject of a free power point presentation on Friday, May 26 at 7 p.m. The event is at Nevada City’s Madelyn Helling Library, 980 Helling Way. It features Bill Drake, president of Friends of Sierra Rock Art (FSRA).
A special focus will be on what is called the Barrier Canyon Style of pictographs (painted images) in Utah’s San Rafael Swell region. “The art work of this ancient style seems to relate to shamanism and many of the images are both intriguing and stunning,” explains Drake. Most of these sites are very difficult to get to, requiring a high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle and, in some cases, challenging hikes.
Petroglyphs (pecked images) and pictographs in Nine Mile Canyon will also be highlighted. Nine Mile Canyon, which is actually over forty miles long, has over ten thousand different rock image sites made by several cultures over thousands of years.
During the evening, the use of an inexpensive computer program called D-Stretch to enhance some of the centuries-old images will be demonstrated. The program brings out faded painted features that are difficult to see or no longer visible. It can very easily be used with a cell phone camera or on a computer.
Drake, who has taught courses in Native American history, culture, and politics to high school students, has spent over thirty years studying rock image sites in the southwest and western United States. He co-founded Friends of Sierra Rock Art in 1990, an organization that works with the Tahoe National Forest, other agencies, and Native Americans to protect regional petroglyphs.
FSRA, which is sponsoring the event, is the first non-professional organization to have received the Society for California Archaeology’s prestigious Helen C. Smith award for contributions to California archaeology.
Masks are encouraged.
For more information go to www.sierrarockart.com