Cultural stone

Cultural stone

As soon as we give a specific stone a name it is a cultural stone. It carries the name as long as people or institutions keep it in memory or use it as a concept. Locally we have many more names and marked objects than in the official sources

Seit, Manitou stone, red-stone, white-stone, small-stone, oath-stone, germ-stone, hov-stone, maiden Stone, obelisk, standing stone or stela, Little Hans, oath, hult, lund, harg, boundary stone, five-stone, raa and raur, milestone, herm, Sommen, Kola Peninsula, Vottovaara, Inuit culture

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We could think of an old girl talking with her god. We see the same in front of icons in Orthodox Church and in front of Saints in the Catholic Church. No preconceived ideas of shamanism are needed. Picture from Siberia

The drum is essential in late Samic culture and it is possible that the stones has been used as local drum if the acoustic is good at the place. I think we need more investigations about orientation, environment and possibly archaeology and we need to go to the very roots and simple cultures to understand our complicated culture of today. In other connections we need top see what unite us with foreign cultures and cultures in ancient times. This situation associates immediately to Genesis 28:22 "And this stone which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house" Often we see our ancestors as foreign people see the Exodus essay for what the Bible say about stone use in the Levant

The initiation of a new local priest Krasno Yar, Siberia

Not long ago a new Pope was initiated in Rome and very old liturgies and was practised. Every single moment and detail have symbolic and ritual value few knows about and especially those not knowing Latin. The surroundings are since long decorated with statues of saints and other holly things. In 1354 AD the Catholic Church the Benedictines counted around 30000 saints and holly persons and still persons are canonised. Half of them were bishops.

In the beginning the demand was that the saint should have done at least two miracles. Not much rationality in a church build on words. One can wonder if they demanded the same from 20 emperors, 10 empresses, 47 kings, 50 queens and many kingly and noble people classified as "holly person" at least. In our time we would call them role models and idols allowed by authorities. The present pope chooses the founder of the Benedictine Rule as idol.

We can say that the process started with simple rural life like in Krasny Yar and archetypes/ idols developed to grasp that life. In the city-states human relations became important and the idols reflected such problems. Especially from Rome we now the big pantheon of virtues and qualities. The Bible forbid humanised gods but it was OK to use real persons as idols and saints.

Nearly at the same time as the pope initiation a new local priest Vasily Dunkai of about 1,000 Udege people living in the Primorye region Siberia was installed during two days of initiation and after-feast. For the first time the press was allowed to follow such things

Vasily was baptised in water from three different wells and it was heated on a fire altar of five stones brought from five hills. Symbolically that ties him to the environment of his people. The people offered to the deities of the Taiga and new idols were made to protect the new priest. Naturally there was some eating and drinking of Vodka also ... vine could not be produced on the Taiga and the Vodka make people forget the harsh climate

The festivities went on for two days. Locally it was an occasion of special presence and people would remember the symbol acts forever. Surely the priest feels everything inside like for instance my confirmation that was a step from one age to another. Both initiations are important for our worldview of today. More pictures at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/4494369.stm

To compare our world with the rest of the world is just natural. It is also natural that we prefer our own culture we somehow understand. In foreign cultures our eyes catch different clothes and, housing and rituals and we concentrate on superficial things. To let our preconceived attitudes win is easy. If we instead look for what unite us and try to see pattern and things we have in common we begin to understand.

Samic seit from Medelpad?

G. Dottemar from Aange Medelpad N Sweden sent me the picture asking for my opinion. Since it is within the area of ancient Lapland my first guess is that it is a Samic seit/ seidas. To decide that for sure we need local folk memory or/and finds in the surroundings. Every monument is a claim from the local people. There is a Sumerian stele with inscription telling about the struggle about borders between the cities Umma and Lagash ca. 2500 BC. They used the stele and sometimes the burial mound or a fake burial mound to manifest their claims. The use of stones with ideas store ideas as eternal and there are many kinds

The seit is often a stone in the centre for a holy place in the territory of the village or clan. However in the wilderness there are seldom signs of a village. The word could be the same the "ceide"-field at Mayo Ireland used about a farming village from 3500 BC they found under a bog. It shows plan and order. The word could also be compared to Old Norse "saete/ saeti" = English 'seat' and still used in the meaning "manor including the feudal dominions".

There are a few old words common to Celtic and Samic languages. It would only be natural since the Sea-Sames colonised along the Norse coast northward in pace with the melting ice after Ice Age. There are also some ritual elements in common and the Southern calendar reached Lapland around 4000 BC see calendars at Alta

The rock-carvings and megalith culture shows in some places that Sameland and Karelia belongs to contemporary West European culture. However the settlements were smaller than in South Scandinavia. We should remember that there were only few "towns" during Viking Age. In the time of Gustav Vasa early 16th century the size of Stockholm was around 5000 and that is the size of the little town I spend my life in.

If cultural values should be preserved carriers are needed and that we value it is important to us. Unfortunately the Samic culture is like aboriginal cultures all over the world. It has been academic use in Scandinavia that all culture above latitude 60 degree is shamanism. They mystify and put on the label that it is more spiritual and animated than our culture is. The cultural imperialists and the Mights classify it as primitive and magic remains. Then the value fade away faster than the stony cultures with much of gold implied. Of course all visible remains and artefacts are our substantial roots and we need them all to get the entire picture.

The stone on the rock has not been left there by nature. It could be some very strong joker or several men have put it there as a joke. For a landmark it is enough to remember the stone. The little stone express that there is a cultural value in it. In the entire Europe the folk memory have saved names of stones in place names.

This is from Vottavaara, Kem near White Sea in N. Karelia

The theories about our ancestors and about "aborigines" everywhere are made high above ordinary people of "fathers" and academics with no aim of understanding the totem. Often words like "savage and primitive" are used to create the distance. The Indian natives have a point that they call it rather "guardian spirit" than god, however the function is quite the same. The romantics Europeans call it Manitou / Great Spirit but the spirit has as many names as there are Indian languages. However even when the Christians persuade them to tell it is just like the Christian god it is not the case. Every tribe insists to have its own form see more on Totemism

In Wisconsin there are maybe some Manitou Stones left. The Jesuits did their best to destroy them and as always in the Bible they could find the right lead. Deuteronomy 12: 2&3 order that "Ye shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations ... served their gods, upon the high mountains ... and hills ... overthrow their altars and destroy the graven images (i.e. sacred stones) of their gods ..."

During the 8th century AD, this tradition was again in evidence as a Papal decree brought to Ireland by the Catholic missionaries who were to "sanctify the pagan hilltops" and also urged to build churches wherever they found 'standing stones'. Nine centuries later, this mindset would be zealously transported to the New World by the Jesuit Order. In Europe we have only a few clear standing stone or signpost of a village left. Maybe the church destroyed them where they could we should maybe mention that we see the signpost RAS/ ANSUR in the Hittitian culture in second millennium BC.

From the numerous descriptions of Native American people and customs recorded in the Jesuit Relations, there is little doubt that distinct Manitou stones were a commonly recognised icon which called attention to certain places; places of spiritual importance to the Native Americans and recognised as such by the Jesuit priests.

This suggest that even in Europe the standing stone was used for more than marking a claim or the village protecting idol see Anglo-Scandinavian place names. Surely the place names with early non-Christian idol names could have been in the shape of a stele at the village. In the folk memory we have the Herm = standing stone or mound on which stones were thrown. That warned for road robbery telling about an earlier murder. At the same time they were landmarks for the travellers.

An example of the Manitou Stone is that on each side of a dangerous stream. Surely it was just warning post "Look out". The Indians maybe called it "evil spirits" and the Jesuits heard it as primitive savage animism. When it was just a rational warning in their language. Manitou has many synonyms and is different in other parts of America. The culture crash is between the urban and the rural animated language. we should maybe mention that vagabonds in my early days made sign at suitable places so the next vagabond would know what kind of hosts they would meet in the farm. Cleverness is not a monopoly for the rich and educated.

When I read about Great Spirit and even Manitou I cannot help that the late descriptions of Indian spirituality sounds like mixed Indian culture and Christianity. The Sioux seem to have been less influenced by that. Then it is difficult if the Indians wanted to be like the Christians or if the Jesuits wanted to see Christianity in the Indian culture?

My conclusion is that there is nothing magic in Indian totem and our ancestors' shrines/ remains. The magic lies in the academic language widened by journalists to make sensations. There have never been intentions to be at level with ancestors and aborigines. Cultural imperialism needs to make the other part primitive so that we are the superiors that should civilise those "poor creatures". I have heard the expression in some noble saloon many years ago.

In Scandinavia we have names as red-stone, white-stone, small-stone, oath-stone, germ-stone, hov-stone and so one. In England there are several Maiden Stone telling about the mythic Maiden and there are many more on other subjects. In heavily populated areas the names are easily stored but in the wilderness it is depending on the elderly people and they tend to die out.

In scientific sense is the seit of course like an obelisk, standing stone or stelae in "high cultures". The bullies in the rulers world usually practise cultural imperialism and tell us that the Samic seit and holy places are primitive magic and shamanism While the monuments in rural areas with agriculture are nearly "high culture" although Southern stony cultures are told to be the ultimate target. It is healthy to set the Egyptian Toth or Sobek-priest as mirror to the shaman. They have in common that they are priests and so are those in the church.

Only the very superior tramp on small people. I wonder would Westerners like if some Siberian shaman came to us asking critical questions and mapping the Western culture ... Sometimes I go mad when some Christian sectarian try to save my soul at the door. Poor soul they do not understand that they stand on my toes and show disrespect for me. Many academics do not know too much about Human Rights.

In true science we need always references to value the effects of human behaviour. The optimal reference were an untouched environment, but that it not found anywhere on the globe. In science keeping reindeers is just one method to live on nature besides hunting, fishing, breeding, farming, cultivating and so on. In the places where they practise it is not primitive at all only in academic cellars it is magic and primitive. It is difficult to describe and imagine how much inherited culture is needed as knowledge to meet all problems that may occur.

Out technical way of farming and forestry have tried many inventions that prove to be a failure in the long run. Recently I read that the modern invented trees do not stand the heavy hurricane this year. The trees are expected to grow fast but then they loose the strength and are easily broken in the storm. To harvest the trees is a very expensive affair. The wise method would have been to use long series of trials so that every forthcoming problem was foreseen.

Without the fertility of nature the technicians would not live. In the past they have not understood that and that is why the high cultures are polluting and destroying earth and minimising the species in short civilisation seems to de degenerating mankind and nature.

In many places around the world they are still living almost in the same way as five thousand years ago. The really tricky question is will our civilisation stand five more thousands of years. Supposedly several of our raw materials will have been used much earlier than that. That should be our reference too when we set values on earlier "primitive" cultures.

Our stony monuments are just like milestones on our road towards future. Monuments and place names store small fragments of the earlier culture. With World War II in mind I remember how we took old methods in use since we ran out of fuel and other commodities during war. An example is that they were using wool in the old fashion way from sheep to ready made clothes all made by hand.

Maybe we should keep those old places as holy as they were for our ancestors that evidently knew much about sustainability.

They call it Redstone near Linkauping

People in the village with the Redstone still paint the stones whenever needed. I think it is a fine tradition and real piety. Even when none know what it really mean, but it is just to honour their ancestors and their traditions.

My first guess is that the colours mark three seasons in colour marking. It was used for other purposes, as we know. From the Celtic legends we know that in Lochlin there were red, black and white tribes and some were called the blue too. Some god was called the Pale and it was probably the full moon. Division in three seasons came originally from the subtropics climate in Egypt and Sumer, while the Northern climate of course has its four seasons and half years.

In Denmark they have Little Hans in beginning of May and perhaps they set the stony monument "Little Stan" or "Frejstan" just as a mark for the "little" one coming from beneath. Then the red stone may be a symbol for that.

To raise a stone make it special and a mound around tell the same thing. Painting a stone make it sacred among the tribe. They have found that at least some of the picture stones from early Viking Age were painted. These painted stones tell that it maybe was the normal custom. Just at this place they have simply followed the custom since the stones were put together.

Another stone from Medelpad

Surely local people have referred to the field as that "with the big stone". Maybe there is no folk tale at all and we have to ask old people around if we want to know. I feel that too few have been interested in documenting such old folk tales about seemingly small things.

In legal sense "oath should be sworn at grounded stone". That is folk memory about how we in some cases need refering to eternity at least that of the living tribe. Symbol acts was a mean to sanctify common or private decisions in a sustainable way. It was a symbol act to people and to the living space around.

Much of the legality was tied to nature and they had their temples in nature. The province laws condemn rituals in groves, i.e. Hult and Lund. It is just a sign that they wanted the nature to be a part of important rituals. From the Bible we learn that it was also use in the Levant see for instance Altars. The Anglo-Saxon place names show us more ritual symbols. If they wanted to take out of circulation they hide it in the bogs the traitor was punished by hanging in a tree so everyone could see the consequences of crime against the tribe. Three ways of punishment was for crime against the entire world order. As always the other aspect of punishment is to be preventive.

My examples here are seemingly Scandinavian but they were much the same all over Europe and the ancient world. In our early province laws we can read about small differences between provinces but since their life was much the same their custom were also much alike. Depending on the landscape they lived often isolated and kept their customs for themselves and they did not care even for the royal Mights.

In the former Phoenician Palestine they have found ritual places in the open air. In Syria there are remains after temples surrounded by picture stones. We have very old arrangements of slab stones in square or rectangle formation seemingly used as a temple. We have a few places that may have been Thing places guarded by stones. Others are just stone rows in some formation. In our days stony fences fence in many churches.

Even Harg were forbidden in the Christian laws. The concept is surely the same as "stavgaard" meaning a place fenced by wooden stakes. It is only natural that they fenced in sacred places. So do we with churchyards and graves. Still we pick the dead into stone by setting up a stone on the grave. They mention this on some runic stones. The customs changed in shape and more smooth finish but the principles are much the same.

From some of our province laws we learn that the stripped hazel stick was a sacred symbol. If there was struggle about a sown field they just set up a stripped stick until the matter was solved. In Celtic and Scandinavian myth and custom many concepts had a sacred value and maybe for instance the names of the runes contains just that kind of list. They are just like an icon and we have to understand the concept behind.

In the Norwegian tales we learn that hazel stick and ropes fenced in the Gula Thing. The thing ought to be a place of peace even for the convicted. Otherwise the murderer was lawless in the land. There were maybe other places as a "frithstone" or places where the convicted should have peace

In private we all need symbol acts just to keep important things in mind and maybe a silent stone to speak with . with no interruptions and no opinions. We do the same things in public just to get some common symbol to remember or to gather people around.

Fivestone between two parishes

The border stone have also deep roots in the past. In the medieval list of boundary stones between Dal and Wermland they mention Dal-stone, Bride-stone, Seda-stone and Claw-stone. In the old tests we surely can find many "digra stain" = big stone" as landmarks between parishes and counties and of course between countries too. The above five-stone is between the old parishes Holm and Jern in my commune.

Raa and Raur is a medieval expression meaning the limit of the manor's domain within a mile free from taxes and free to do commerce. Raa maybe meant a wooden stake and the "raur" was a small mound of stones and both means to mark out borders within the free mile (Swedish mile of about 10 kilometres).

Engraving from Sumerian kudurru/ boundary stone or claim shoving the summer season. They are found in Sumer as well as in Egypt Nile Delta

Still the expression can be much older than that and meaning a time expression "from Raa to Raur". Like the Egyptians they maybe set up pole when the field was growing and marked the years by adding a stone to the raur. In the province laws they state a peace law for the working period. Another thing is that fields with crops should be fenced in during the season. From the beginning the cultivators were intruders and they needed to fence in their land for the domesticated and also wild animals.

The milestone is the latest common stone. Here on Dal it became common in 18th century but in other provinces nearer the Might they set up them much earlier. Maybe it was good to have them since the wanderer need some rest places. The normal speed was two Swedish miles a day.

Maybe travellers also made a herm, which was a mound of smaller stones and added up by the wanderer. The name comes from Hermes the traveller's god. Folk tales have a lot of imagination and in some places they remember for sure that someone was murdered. However we have to be sceptic since the human mind and imagination tends to fill out empty space and many of the stories live their own life and alters with time.

Giant/ Godess' table or stool

Blackstone at Vellingby near Stockholm

My friend Kenneth wrote me about this stone in his vicarage. A new inspection tells that upon the stone are 15 cupmarks. He also discovered that two parallel stone strings guide the stone and that there is a stone with a serpent engraves two meters from the dolmen. At the string in north are two round mounds and at the south string a squared setting 3 x 2 metres. This shows that we should always look in the surroundings for the archaeological context.

We can compare that with the Vi at Skabersjö and we see this arrangement as the stairs to Underworld. In the zodiac the stairway is at Cancer to Hydra that symbolises the growing season. In our rock-carvings we have the Serpent in last millennium however it was created at the same time as the Inanna myth

Then Kenneth told me about the area around the big lake Sommen near Tranaas Smaaland and Bo Westling has documented around 100 stones. Many of them are lifted only in one corner but there are also "tables". We can compare it to the dolmen I usually call "God's table" and they were of giant size in 4th millennium BC. We can also call them manipulated stones. From Sumer we know that they made Inannas step down at a giant step on the ziggurat and step down for a beer in face of asterism Leo. I suppose that God tables are bigger than normal since we have a lot of giant symbolism in myths. see also Dolmen and longbarrow but I think these smaller altars/ tables, Footstool are from Bronze Age

Manipulated 4 meter high stone from Fiskarp Sommen area Nr 12 in the middle of the map

The landscape of these is in the size of a county. It must have been a real "fewer" and fashion to rise these. The landscape is rocky so it would not have been suitable for a big population and their sacred places. Maybe they discovered the lever and thought it was fun to practise it. In some rock-carvings we have also the principle of balance they also had to understand and practise. It is also the principle of bartering goods.

It is a real mystery that we find more than 100 manipulated stones around Lake Sommen

It is hard to find the rational reason for making all these when we see this chaotic map. Probably we need more than one answer. It is clear that once we manipulate a stone it is special in the environment and it could be used for various things. I do not know the topography, history and local climate and I do not get the whole context. But I will try to use the material in Bo's leaflet of 40 pages as far as I can and make this less enigmatic.

Bo Westling has listed the monuments by shape and then it is best to start with the doomring/ small stone circles. There are 9 of them at 1, 13, 17, 18, 28, 34, 40, 47, and 88. From Dal I know that they probably were seats of the village by-law assembly so we can place 5 villages at the East Side of the lake and at the West Side they seem to be two in pair in the same manner as here on Dal.

At the West Side there is another difference since we find only one triangle shaped stone setting and there are 13 on the other side. It is like a different tradition. They are listed 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 24, 27, 36, 61, 63, 68 and, 78 in shape of a triangle or a triangle in a triangle.

There are two plausible explanations to the number symbolism. In last millennium the triads and the moon year became fashion in Europe and we know about the Celtic triads seen in statues besides the four-headed as symbol of sun-time. In Scandinavia it continued as we see for instance in the rich symbolism on golden bracts during Migration Age. In East Gautland it affected the tradition of using the series 3, 6, 9, when parting land. Some 30 miles to north east we have Himmelstadlund Norrkauping with very many rock-carvings from Bronze Age and there are signs of connections for instance to Crete. The other explanation has also to do with time.

Document 14,5 x 9 inches in shape of a boundary stone ca 1000 BC. The asterism Triangle is first in upper row followed by Taurus and Turtle = Cancer. It tells that governor Eanna-shum-iddina transfers 5 GUR cornland to Gula-eresh

This could indicate that the triangle shaped stone settings symbolise the asterism of spring equinox at the time. The Triangle is above Aries and below we see that Cassiopeja maybe was used later due to precession. In silhouette the stone lifted with a little stone looks in fact like a triangle. We know that the Assyrians at least from Nebukadnezar onward used the Triangle. We also know that there has been a path of cultural influence from Mesopotamia to Scandinavia from fifth millennium onward. Among the last known things we know about the use of knickerbockers imported from the Sassanids.

The triangles look odd to us but mainly because there are so many 72 in a small area. But it becomes less enigmatic if we see one use as a method of pointing out certain stones as manipulated stone in an arrangement. We could say they draw with stones. The environment around Lake Sommen is very rocky so ritual stones have to been marked in some way. When we make categories the enigma diminish

The categories at Lake Sommen according to Bo Westling

  1. Stone lifted at one side is the big category with 72 out of 100
  2. Menhir/ stele type with small stone ass support 11 of 100
  3. Altar type with stone standing on mostly 3 small stones 18 of 100
  4. Balancing on a foot only 1
  5. Balancing stone on an edge 4 of 100
  6. Altar type with natural feet 4 of 100

 

Trollsten Skoboviken

Bo Westling tells that this type gives the best sound. However I make my analysis just from the book and can not check anything in situ. The three types 4, 5 and 6 are not frequent and we should see the context of the local environment and what else there are around.

Type 3 we could see as an altar and three legs is a minimum but maybe they wanted to keep the 3-symbolism. Especially when we compare with late ideas of Emperor Constantine that an altar should have four legs and in nature you take what you can get as table. Ancient altars were often of block shape. Exodus 20 :25 And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. According to Nordic tradition oaths should be sworn at rooted stone because the eternal Stone Mother should sanctify it.

The original idea of altar was maybe "God Table" for offering. In symbolism three stones is a "fire place" that could be seen as offer place. In the Bible we read that God prefer the smoke of burning fat. That is maybe enough for him while the offering men eat the flesh. On the map the possible altars are situated at 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 21, 26, 34, 41, 61, 68, 70, 78, 86 and 100. We can notice that half of them are near a triangle. Observe I do not know the context for all the altars and have to write it as possibilities.

Now I would simply name the boulder with feet as "dolmen". It is only that in the rocky and wooden parts of Scandinavia it is difficult to find suitable stones for the "standard West European dolmen". If they use smaller feet the work is easier of course. Then my essays about Moon temple and Dolmen and Vi are valid as part of the explanation. I do not think we should make things more complicated than they are I see that some researcher call them "lying hen" and that will cause much confusion in time.

I think we should be open for more than one explanation and some of the odd shapes could have symbolised other things than offer and time ritual. We should mention that there are two places with more stones than in the other cases. One place is in north end of the lake and it has all mentioned types. The other is Aeggeberget in the south end with many arrangements on the rocky hill. Maybe these two should be seen as meeting places for the court = thing of these two brother landscapes.

Cassipopeja symbolism at Troll Island

Site 59 is on little island west of Torp Island with free sight from SE to NW and a good place for observations of the night sky. They have selected the stones to represent the size of the individual starts in Cassiopeja. If we use the general rule that they began year in spring equinox the asterism could be used by that method. But it is also circumpolar so they could use it all year by referring to the observation line.

As long as I knew only about a couple of stones from Sommen and Vellingby I was not sure of what these monuments could be. And I did not have the book of Westling with his eight years of research. But I also got the link to "Sami Seidas" http://www.perpettum.narod.ru/seitamegalith.htm and there are links to other Karelian sites from Kola to St. Petersburg. Have patience they are in .BMP and load slowly. The team behind the site has more categories and a lot of pictures from the North.

From the Kola Peninsula North Karelia

It is good to have these monuments since snobbish academics tell us that above 60 degrees latitude we have the shaman belt and primitive people. I would say they adapted the same ideas as in South Scandinavia but had to get them fitted to sparsely populated wilderness. see also Calendars at Alta N Norway . Often we have to think and see the ritual astronomy behind these monuments even in the wilderness.

Typical table from Vottovaara near Kem White Sea

The sites show that Russian Karelia was a part of Scandinavian culture. As proof we find rock-carvings and stone circles for calendar, stone squares as sacred places and the tables/ footstools that symbolise leadership and festivals around the table. Some places like the Seidas plateau at Kola and the Vottovaara plateau seems to have been places where they gathered for festival/ court and like at Sommen there are many monuments in a small area

At Vreta East Gautland there is what I would call 'footstool' and that is a flat stone with smaller round stones in the corners

We have similar arrangement at our Fotpall/ Footstool here on Dal and folk memory have spared the name "footstool"

Inuit culture

COURT PLACE makes think about similar places in the Negew desert see Exodus Even Nordic sacred places were guarded by stone in square. While calendar arrangements mostly are circles.

http://www.civilization.ca/archeo/inuksuit/inukphoe.html

Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation has published 36 pictures by Norman Hallendy. It is a comprehensive gallery for any Stone Age society how they made monuments that were saving the folk memory of important events during the year and life. Like all monuments it is also a claim from the local people

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Type DOOR and ALIGN notice the monument far from ALIGN

From Sumerians we know that the door/ gateway was an important idea in society. It marked the New Year point in ritual Astronomy where Utu/ Shamash look in both directions like later Janus in Rome. It was the checkpoint in running time. It was also the door to Abzu/ Underworld: Here the ALIGN could have been used for fixed direction or when watching the stars at a fixed point.

In Lapland and Karelia we can track the influence from the cultures in south. The Inuit culture shows that some symbols and problems are eternal and global in similar societies independent of era and place.

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POINTER at a certain direction and FUNNY

The Jesuits were the first folklorists and scientist in aboriginal cultures. They did not understand much about these folks and they saw Anti-Christ everywhere. This POINTER could look strange. Fortunately the Inuits have saved the knowledge of these things

We often forget that our nature like joy. They tell the other monument was made just for the fun of it What would the Jesuits have said?

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STRENGTH and SHAMAN

In the arrangement of three stones symbolised fireplace/ fire and naturally Agni with all synonyms to what fire can do and how we use fire. Maybe the upper stone symbolises the flame and the ultimate STRENGTH?

Th SHAMAN has three layers maybe symbolising that he should be able to "fly " in all three worlds and he was initiated at this monument. Our priests are initiated with much festivity in church and our youngsters have bar mitzvah and confirmation. The priest/ shaman is supposed to have the capacity to see beyond real time to the spiritual world and many thinks they know what happens in Underworld or is going through the door. Not all shamans use the trance to solve problems for their tribe. But for many academics it is always fun to sit on top of the primitive people. The foreigners' eyes give many attributes.

In Scandinavian tradition the thane/ gode should be an elderly experienced man that could lead the people and their rituals. The idol in the myths was old Tyr that lost his arm in battle and then knew what pain is so he was suited as judge. Our Nordic cultures are peaceful and originally there is not much martial stuff in the myths.

I see old ladies at the graveyard talking with the tombstones. Mankind needs some stable symbol for the thought and that makes the spiritual things less fluffy. The idol stone could also be used as place of offer. In the time with Human Rights equal for all people on the glob I think that even far ancestors should have those rights making differences is the source of bitter war