A carved stone pillar discovered at low tide on a seaside in Victoria final summer time is an Indigenous cultural treasure, the Royal B.C. Museum has confirmed.
The museum is working with the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations to find out essentially the most appropriate house for the pillar carved with the options of a face, Songhees Chief Ron Sam stated in an interview on Wednesday.
Through the years, many artifacts have been unearthed within the space, he stated, however nothing has matched the 100-kilogram stone pillar.
“I cannot wait to seek out out extra info from our elders,” stated Sam, noting interactions with elders are restricted now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He stated Songhees and Esquimalt elders will information the decision-making round whether or not and the way the stone pillar could also be displayed publicly.
“I instantly realized, my gosh, that is thrilling,” Keddie stated of the discover.
Spalteholz did the correct factor by contacting the museum to make sure it could be correctly cared for, stated each Keddie and Sam.
Pillar could have stood at fringe of cliff
Conservationists labored to guard the integrity of the stone, which was lined in algae after being submerged in sea water, stated Keddie.
He speculates the pillar as soon as stood close to the sting of a cliff above the seaside the place it was discovered, till components of the cliff got here down in a landslide.
“I feel probably some storm had turned [the stone] up,” he stated. “It might have been buried additional out to sea lined with seaweed and possibly solely lately was shifted up onto this seaside after which uncovered.”
Radio-carbon relationship is efficient solely on natural gadgets similar to bone and wooden, however written and oral histories can present perception into the stone’s significance, stated Keddie.
They had been believed to have “particular powers to attract the salmon in after they had been late, or you may undertake rituals [with] sure stones to vary the climate to make it good for fishing, to make it unhealthy in your enemies,” he stated.
The stone may very well be the identical one talked about by Lekwungen elders to German-American anthropologist Franz Boas within the late 1800s, stated Keddie.
“Indigenous elders informed this very temporary little one-liner about these stone figures down close to Finlayson Level, proper the place this factor was discovered.”
The placement of the invention matches Boas’ description of that determine as being “not far” from the navy gun batteries as soon as discovered close by, he stated.
“I at all times surprise, are there extra of them on the market?” Keddie added.
This story was produced with the monetary help of the Fb-Canadian Press Information Fellowship, which isn’t concerned within the editorial course of.