Image from page 135 of "Annual report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution" (1880)
Title: Annual report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
Publisher: Washington : G. P. O.
Contributing Library: Smithsonian Libraries
Digitizing Sponsor: Smithsonian Libraries
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78 PICTURE-WRITING OF THE AMERICAN INDIANS. Marquette's remark.s ari^ translated by Dr. Francis Parkman («) as follows: Oil the flat face of a high rock were painted, iu red, black, and green, a pair of monsters, each "as large as a calf, with horns like a deer, red eyes, a heard like a tiger, and a frightful expression of countenance. The face is something like that of a man, the hody covered with .scales; and the tail so long that it passes entirely round the body, over the head, and between the legs, ending like that of a fish." Another version, by Davidson and Struve (a), of the discovery of the petrog-lyph is as follows: Again they (Joliet and Marquette) were floating on the broad bosom cf the un- known stream. Passing the mouth of the Illinois, they soon fell into the shadow of a tall promontory, and with great astonishment beheld the representation of two monsters painted on its lofty limestone front. According to Marquette, each of these frightful figures had the face of a man, the horns of a deer, the beard of a tiger, and the tail of a fish so long that it passed around the body, over the head, and between the legs. It was an object of Indian worship and greatly impressed the mind of the pious missionary with the necessity of substituting for this monstrous idolatry the worship of the true God. A footnote connected with the foregoing qirotation gives the following description of the same rock : Near the mouth of the Piasa creek, on the blurt', there is a smooth rock in a cav- ernous cleft, under an overhanging clift', on whose face, 50 feet fiom the base, are. painted some ancient pictures or hieroglyphics, of great interest to the curious.
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Fio. 40.—The Piasn petroglypli. They are placed in a horizontal line from east to west, rejireseuting men, plants, and animals. The paintings, though protected from dampness and storms, are iu great part destroyed, marred by portions of the rock becoming detached and falling down. Mr. McAdams(fl), of Alton, Illinois, says "The name Piasa is Indian and signifies, in the Illini, 'The bird which devours men.'" He fur- nishes a spirited pen-and-ink sketch, 12 by 15 inches in size and pm-- porting to represent the ancient painting described by Marquette. On the picture is inscribed the following in ink: "Made by Wm. Dennis, April 3d, 1825." The date is in both letters and figures. On the top of the picture in large letters are the two words, " FLYING DEAGON." This picture, which has been kept in the old Gilham family of Madison, county and bears the evidence of its age, is reproduced as Fig. 40. He also publishes another representation (Fig. 41) with the follow- ing remarks: One of the most satisfactory pictures of the Piasa we have ever seen is in an old German publication entitled "The Valley of the Mississippi Illustrated. Eighty
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