Presentation on theme: "Sacred Places Petroglyphs of Altai. If one were to focus on ‘place’ rather than ‘the past’ one might consider that it is not the presence of the image."— Presentation transcript:
Sacred Places Petroglyphs of Altai
If one were to focus on ‘place’ rather than ‘the past’ one might consider that it is not the presence of the image that makes the site sacred. It is the ‘place’ itself that is sacred and for that reason chosen to carry the message of the symbol into the future
In various countries the belief systems of native people have been studied in an attempt to reveal the content of rock art images. This has proven to be a fruitful approach. In Altai however, such an approach would be undermined if the site were still to be considered a relic of the past. In Altai, these sites remain energetically active.
“To see, one must first of all believe”
We have a tendency to dedicate our present to illusion, somehow believing it to be less magical, less eternally holy, and life less imbued with the secrets of rare knowledge than it was when the ancients took sharp tools to the rock face. I propose that the ancients were neither primitive nor lived in a world more mysterious than our own. These images are an expression of the eternal wisdom of a holy world as present today as it was all those years ago. Look not into the past, but believe in the sacred present and then the heart, the portal to eternity may speak to you of the true meaning of the images.
Because there is a tendency to consider the executors of petroglyphs ‘primitive’, aspects of composition are overlooked as being ‘mistakes’ or simply ‘random’. If however, every single mark were intentional then there would be grounds for studying the principles of spacing within one composition. British archaeologist Richard Bailey refers to this phenomena within rock art as ‘design grammar’..see next slide….
‘Who would say that stones have no soul accept the one who is himself soulless’ Boris Ukachin
Kalbak-tash sanctuary In the Altai Bilik it is written that a man’s wisdom lies in the cells at the chest area and that a man’s capacity for wisdom lies in the ‘emptiness’ there. Perhaps the main figure in this composition represents this portal or ‘space’ wherein wisdom lies. In his study on Californian rock art, anthropologist Whitley draws attention to the fact that many images are placed close to holes, cracks and gaps in the rock. According to shamanic belief, sacred knowledge was stored in the rock which was in fact the shaman’s ‘cache’….. see next slide
The following images in pastel are part of a gift card set and depict compositions of deer and elk at the ‘Kalbak-tash’ sanctuary. The aim of these cards is to illustrate how varied and particular the various compositions of the deer/elk motif really are.
The figures on the left are referred to in academic literature as ‘the birthing woman’. Notice the figure at the top holding onto the leg of the hind. The figure at the bottom is probably a horse in aroused state with a sledge behind.
Native peoples, consider all fruits of the human mind and spirit to derive from one and the same source: the symbiotic relationships between a people, their land, the spiritual world and a kinship with all other living beings that dwell on the same land.” UN working group report on Indigenous peoples.”
The world view of the Altai people acts as a bridge between the world illustrated on the rocks and the world of the modern mind.
At the present time, there are no effective systems in place for the preservation of Altai rock art! Over the past few years some sites have been damaged beyond recognition and others are disappearing before our very eyes. It is essential that the status of these sites be acknowledged if they are not to be lost forever. If you have enjoyed these images and would like to know more about the ‘Painting for Preservation’ project, please contact Joanna Dobson –