Thomas Doty – Storyteller

Big Wocus

Photo.

The rock paintings at Big Wocus are on a forested ridge above Klamath Marsh in southern Oregon. This is an ancient cremation site, and the symbols suggest time passing, a place visited by many people, and dancing figures. An elder told me that the figures represent centuries of dances done here to honor the dead. It is also a place still visited by native people. The painting is one of a handful of sites in Oregon with blue-green symbols and all of the symbols are on a cliff at the tip of an arrowhead-shaped rock.

If one climbs to the top of the rock, there are two large boulders above the rock writings that act as a window on the native world, revealing a view of the marsh, the distant Cascade Mountains and the rim of Crater Lake. The entire rock points westward toward the Land of the Dead.