Deciphering Salish lines on the land

2018 March 25 above W̱EN,NÁ,NEĆ (elevation 80 m), Reginald Hill, Salt Spring Island

These rectangular stone enclosures, at 80 metres elevation on terraces above the village site of W̱EN,NÁ,NEĆ on Salt Spring Island, suggests cultivated beds of bulbs, such as camas and chocolate lily, and carrot-like roots including KEXMIN (Lomatium nudicaule) and yampah (Perideridia gairdneri). The small size of these beds, with each less than 80 cm X 40 cm, and the lack of deep earth suggest horticultural more than funerary sites.

There are numerous other archaeological sites in nearby valleys, hills and islands that go back at least 7,000 years. W̱EN,NÁ,NEĆ was occupied for millennia until residents were forcibly evicted from their own homes by the Government of Canada in 1923. The W̱EN,NÁ,NEĆ village site, established as an Indian Reserve in 1873, is not currently inhabited but continues to be carefully protected and stewarded by the Tsawout First Nation of Saanichton, British Columbia.

2018 March 25 above W̱EN,NÁ,NEĆ (elevation 80 m), Reginald Hill, Salt Spring Island
2018 March 25 above W̱EN,NÁ,NEĆ (elevation 80 m), Reginald Hill, Salt Spring Island
2018 March 25 above W̱EN,NÁ,NEĆ (elevation 80 m), Reginald Hill, Salt Spring Island

 

 

Planting ḴEXMIN seed, Lomatium nudicaule, in the roughgarden of the field station with the waxing of the full moon

2018 March 1 ḴEXMIN, Lomatium nudicaule & Camassia leichtlinii seeds

Planting ḴEXMIN seed, Lomatium nudicaule, in the field station’s roughgarden, with the waxing of the full moon, with the small dark seeds of giant camas, Camassia leichtlinii

2018 March 1 ḴEXMIN, Lomatium nudicaule & Camassia leichtlinii seeds
2018 March 1 ḴEXMIN, Lomatium nudicaule montage of stripes in seeds