Rock Art

ROCK ART is engravings or paintings done on stone by FIRST NATIONS people and their remote ancestors. Engravings, or petroglyphs, were pecked or scratched on the rock surface using a sharp piece of hard stone. Paintings, or pictographs, were drawn using pigments made from minerals. Located on boulders and rock faces along the coast, around LAKES and in river valleys, rock art depicts human figures, animals, spirit figures and geometric shapes. The oldest samples in BC date back perhaps 3,000 years. Particularly large collections of pictographs are at Seton Crk on the FRASER R, along the STEIN R, and in the SIMILKAMEEN R Valley between HEDLEY and PRINCETON. A large collection of 111 petroglyphs is located at Thorsen Crk east of BELLA COOLA. Another important coastal site is Chrome Island, off the southern end of DENMAN ISLAND. Rock art usually depicts an important event, an individual's spiritual experience or an attempt to influence the spirit world, and has been interpreted by some researchers as an early form of writing.
Reading: Annie York, Richard Daly and Chris Arnett, They Write Their Dreams on the Rocks Forever: Rock Writings in the Stein River Valley, 1993; Joy Inglis, Spirit in the Stone, 1998.