Writing on the wall: Pictographs, tribal tales add to lore of Sasquatch
June 19, 2012 by Scott Sandsberry
YAKIMA, Wash. — Not far from the Tule River in Central California is a rock shelter used by tribal villagers long before the Sierra foothills began filling up with white settlers and gold miners.The shelter is known as Painted Rock by tourists and archeologists for its colorful array of centuries-old pictographs depicting the animal spectrum from the small (lizard, centipede, caterpillar and frog) and the high-flying (condor, eagle) to the bigger beasts (coyote, beaver, bear and man). And man, of course.
Almost all of the painted images are instantly recognizable as creatures that would have inhabited the Sierras 500 to 1,000 years ago, when the pictographs are believed to have been created.Three of the animals, though, can only be described in today’s lexicon as an adult male, adult female and child Sasquatch.The big male, according to Yokuts tribal lore, is Hairy Man, standing on two legs, its arms spread wide, with long hair and, writes Forest Service archeologist Kathy Moskowitz Strain, “large, haunting eyes.” Next to it, with the same hairy, two-legged aspect, are what appear to be the adult female, the “mother,” and her child.None of the animals shown on Painted Rock are proportionally larger than one would expect; they’re all either life-sized or smaller, as if in the distance.The painting of Hairy Man is 8 1/2 feet tall.