The Rock Art Petroglyphs & Pictographs of Canada
Rock paintings, or pictographs, and petroglyphs are located in many areas across Canada, and they constitute Canada's oldest and most widespread artistic tradition, brought into Canada by its earliest occupants during the last Ice Age.
The first to illustrate and interpret pictographs from the point of view of the native people themselves was Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, a US Indian agent stationed at Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, in the early 19th century. He described the Agawa pictographs at Wawa, Ontario, and wrote on the practice and meaning of pictography among Algonquian speakers of North America in a 6-volume publication dated 1851-57. Research in Canada has tended to focus on the interpretation of both the function and meaning of rock art in the context of native culture and on the relationship of pictographs and petroglyphs to other forms of native visual expression. However recently, research has shifted towards the study of the surrounding landscape and the integration of rock art sites in a broader geographical and 'landscape' context.
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