Rock Writing or Muzzinabikon

Synopsis of Indian Symbols - Plate 59

Rock Writing or Muzzinabikon: The application of picture-writing among the Native American tribes to record transactions in their daily life. From its first or simple drawings in the inscription of totems and memorials on grave-posts, through the various methods adopted to convey information on sheets of bark, scarified trees, and other substances, and through the institutions and songs of the Meda, and the Wabeno societies, the mysteries of the Jeesukawin, the business of hunting, and the incidents of war and affection. It remains only to consider their use in an historical point of view, or in recording, in a more permanent form than either of the preceding instances, such transactions in the affairs of a wandering forest life as appear to them to have demanded more labored attempts to preserve.



Walam Olum, Tribal Chronicle

Walam Olum. The sacred tribal chronicle of the Lenape or Delawares. The name signifies ‘painted tally’ or ‘red score,’ from walam, ‘painted,’ particularly ‘red painted,’ and olum,’ a score or tally.’ The Walam Olum was first published in 1836 in a work entitled “The American Nations,” by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, an erratic French scholar, who



Pictographs – Sign Language

Fig. 193

Sign Language Among North American Indians – Conclusions



Symbols of Hunting in Pictography

Pictorial record of a chiefs success in hunting and war - Plate 54

Keossawin, or Hunting Pictography: A similar virtue is believed to be exerted, if but the figure of the animal sought be drawn on wood or bark, and afterwards submitted to the efficacious influences of the magic medicine, and the incantation. Pictographs of such drawings are frequently carried about by the hunter, to avail himself of their influence, or of the means of becoming more perfect in the mystical art, by intercommunication with other and distant Indians. These figures are often drawn on portable objects of his property, such as implements of hunting, canoes, utensils, or rolls of lodge-barks, or sheathing.



Indian Pictographs

Atotarho, the First Iroquois Ruler - Plate 70

Indian Pictographs: Observations on the Pictographic Method of Communicating Ideas by Symbolic and Representative Devices of the North American Indians. Pictorial and symbolical Representations constitute one of the earliest observed traits in the Customs and Arts of the American Indians. This Art found to assume a systematic Form, among the rude Hunter Tribes of North America, in the year 1820, when it was noticed on the Source of the Mississippi. This Instance given, with a Drawing. The Hint pursued.



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