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Published on Sep 8, 2007
The Agawa Rock pictographs are located on a rock face extending into Lake Superior in Agawa Bay. Some paintings are at least 1500 years old, while others may only date back to the 1800s. "Agawa" means "sacred place" in the Ojibwe language. The Ojibwe believed that spirits concentrated in the rock outcroppings of the Lake Superior shore, which belonged to the mysterious domain of the powerful Ojibwe sea monster Mishipizheu (also known as the Great Horned Lynx). The first printed reference to the Agawa pictographs occurred in ethnographer Henry Schoolcraft's 1851 study "The American Indians. Their History, Condition and Prospects." The pictographs, recount the daring crossing of eastern Lake Superior by a fleet of war canoes, led by the warrior and medicine man Myeengun, with the blessing of Mishipizheu. Slide show by John Wanserski.