top of page

The Lioness Has an Accomplice


I recently processed this photo I call "open mouth lion face" and was astounded at the position of the face. It has an open mouth and a exposed tongue.

This outline glyph is located next to the "Lioness" and is looking directly at any who would be walking along the foot path on their way to the Ceremonial site. This glyph and dozens more are located along a long line of relatively flat faced cliff faces that stretch for several miles. It was a natural billboard. A place where this art was created to show the importance of this site to anyone that passed by. I have called this stretch "billboard alley" because of its ability to have so many petroglyph's, outline glyph's and pictographs placed there for people to see as they walked by.

Once you have reached the Lioness outline glyph you have already passed by many of these rock face glyph's. Here are a few below.

Wall of Many Faces

As I have stated before though, the Lioness glyph was intentionally separated from this continuous line of rock cliffs to only show her, standing alone. This new glyph I just processed is just a few yards past her and below her. Below is a photo of our new friend.

Open Mouth Lion Face

This is not the first face that has its mouth open and its tongue showing. See below

Taunting Face Outline Glyph

This glyph is also facing exactly towards the foot path. The rock representing the tongue is a separate rock from the main body that was inserted to portray the image of a tongue. On our new image, the tongue is part of the main body lower jaw. However, the roof of the mouth was carved at a upward angle to show it as an gap between the tongue and lower jaw.

Also, this is not a small glyph. It is approximately five feet wide and six feet tall.

I am curious as to the cultural meaning of the art portraying the tongue sticking out my Ancestors created there. In our western culture, it can mean someone is teasing you or even a very mild insult. However, in the Maori culture of New Zealand, if a man sticks out his tongue at you you are just a few seconds from death. See photo below.

This is a very serious threat and form of visual display that they have used for many centuries. Prior to actual conflict, the Maori men would meet each other and perform a ritual of showing threatening displays, much like Bears and many other animals do to try and intimidate their opponent into not fighting and acquiesce.

On my mountain though it is not clear as to the meaning of this facial gesture. It could be a silly taunt, as we see it today in the west. Or, it could have been seen as a visual warning that this is a sacred place and death awaits those who do not respect its stature. A warning, much like the Serpent walls were seen as.

One thing is for certain, as we have learned at our Serpent walls and Sun effigies is that my Ancestors rarely created art for arts sake, They were telling us a story through their art. Sometimes a multi layered story. And through their stories many times there were warnings given to us. The art they created were things that they were seeing, such as animals and humans and sometimes even objects such as the "Crossed Torches" pictograph. See photo below.

Crossed Torches Altar Rock Pictograph

Bear Spirit Mountain is a complicated place and it had to be. It was a sacred pilgrimage site that had to be given the utmost respect. And the art there tells us that is was treated with the highest respect. We are doing the same today, and I thank everyone of you has helped in doing so.



bottom of page