Patahoek petroglyph



"Patahoek" was found during a trip to the central Utah desert country, during a trip with a dying friend to seek out and photograph Indian petroglyphs.

After several days of hunting and photographing, we came to a junction of two canyons with a high rock-ledge point overlooking them. It became obvious that the main canyon, leading outward to the southwest, had been a major travel route for native peoples. The side canyon led to another fork, leading into the desert highlands through scrub juniper breaks, offering excellent hunting.

We found several hundred petroglyphs scribed into the hard sandstone ledges at various levels, ranging in age from extremely old and primitive, to very modern "Ute" style showing horses, and white men wearing cowboy hats. Up the side canyon, we found a modern Ute depiction of a horse, as beautiful as any primitive museum art. It is doubtful that this prehistoric art will survive many more years; some modern-age hunter had already left bullet-marks in the larger rock etchings in the side canyon.

I discovered Patahoek high up in the ledges, in a special south-facing panel where he could overlook the southern approaches and the canyons below. In all of our travels through Utah and Idaho, we never saw another figure anything like this one. In reality, he is a rather small figure, about 8 inches tall.

In the spirit, Patahoek is very powerful. After my discovery, I took a long hike up the side canyon, into the narrowing sandstone clefts cut by ages of spring floods. During the trek, images and names came into my mind, including the name "Patahoek" ... which I was given to understand indicated the "Dispenser of Blessings," he who can dispense good upon his people, and who can dispense frustrations and difficulties upon those who come with evil intent. He is the Sentinel, the Guardian, the incarnation who remains in the spirit of his people.



< > Home