Contributed by Peter Rotheisler
Highway 17 stretches 84 kilometres through Lake Superior
Provincial Park. Agawa rock pictographs are located ~10 km
inside the park’s southern boundary. Here several signs provide
well marked directions for the Agawa Rock Indian Pictographs,
located a short distance off of the highway.
Agawa Rock is a shear 30 metre face jutting from the shore of
Lake Superior. Some 35 Indian rock paintings are scattered along
its base. Archaeological work by the provincial park staff has
indicated that the paintings, in general, may date back at least
1500 years. Most of the current paintings may be relatively recent in
origin (a few hundred years old).There is evidence that some of the
sketches have at least three layers of paint (a hematite-natural grease
mixture), Some paintings show faint shadows of older outlines.
Some of the sketches are of local wildlife (e.g. marten, fish) which often
represent native clan symbols. One set of paintings reveals the presence
of woodland caribou although they are no longer found in this part of the
north shore. Many paintins refer to a story of the crossing of Lake
Superior by Chief Myeengun and his band. One of the most striking
paintings is of “Misshepezhieu”, an Ojibway demi-god who controlled
Lake Superior ( I have included a picture of the Misshepezhieu pictograph).
Much more information can be provided by the park staff.