Holy Ground, Healing Water: Cultural Landscapes at Waconda by Dr. Donald J. Blakeslee Ph.D

By Dr. Donald J. Blakeslee Ph.D

Most humans wouldn't contemplate north critical Kansas’ Waconda Lake to be impressive. The lake, accomplished in 1969 via the federal Bureau of Reclamation for flood keep an eye on, irrigation, and water provide reasons, sits amid a area known—when it really is considered at all—for agriculture and, maybe to a couple, because the domestic of "The World’s greatest Ball of cord" (in within sight Cawker City).

but, to the local humans residing during this area within the centuries prior to Anglo incursion, this used to be a spot of serious non secular energy and mystic importance. Waconda Spring, now underneath the waters of the lake, used to be held as sacred, a spot the place reference to the spirit global used to be attainable. within sight, an immense snake image carved into the earth by way of local peoples—likely the ancestors of today’s Wichitas—signified the same position of reverence and totemic power.

All that started to swap on July 6, 1870, while Charles DeRudio, an officer within the seventh U.S. Cavalry who had served with George Armstrong Custer, bought a tract at the north financial institution of the Solomon River—a tract that incorporated Waconda Spring. DeRudio had little regard for the sacred homes of his acreage; as an alternative, he seen the mineral spring so one can make money.

In Holy flooring, therapeutic Water: Cultural Landscapes at Waconda Springs, Kansas, anthropologist Donald J. Blakeslee strains the utilization and attendant meanings of this sector, starting with prehistoric websites relationship between AD one thousand and 1250 and carrying on with to the current day. Addressing all of the websites at Waconda Lake, despite age or cultural association, Blakeslee tells a dramatic tale that appears again from the humdrum current in the course of the romantic haze of the 19th century to an older panorama, one who is extra very good by means of a ways than what the fashionable mind's eye can conceive.

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