Nova Scotia Archives

George Creed - Mi'kmaq Petroglyphs

Tracing of a petroglyph of a mythical horned snake

next
view page 1  2  

Date: 1888

Petroglyph tracings F: Animals, birds, snakes #10. 5 negatives. Marion Robertson's Rock Drawings of the Micmac Indians interprets this petroglyph as "Horned Snake… A monstrous horned snake who could at will assume the size and shape of a mountain figured into a number of Micmac stories. The horns, always red or yellow, gave an Indian who posessed one immense power for if attached to the forehead of an enemy it could never be removed. Continuing to grow, it wound itself about a tree and held its victim powerless. Nothing could chip nor break the horn; only a line of red ochre encirling it could snap it and free the victim. In tales of supernatural beings the head of a great horned snake--a chepichcalm--was always demanded of a suitor of a young girl by her father. Aided by his friends the young man never failed to obtain the head and went off with the bride of his choice."

Reference: George Creed - Petroglyphs Nova Scotia Archives MG 15 Vol. 13-I F10