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Spirit Songs and Sacred Fire: Rock Art at Lava Beds National Monument

March 7 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

TULELAKE, California — On March 7 at 6:30 pm at the Butte Valley Community Center, 52900 Hwy. 97 in Dorris, CA, Klamath Tribal member and archaeologist Robert David will present his research on indigenous rock art in the Klamath Basin entitled “Spirit Songs and Sacred Fire.” The event is free.

For over a century, the petroglyphs at Lava Beds have been a mystery to park visitors and rock art researchers alike. Attempts to explain these petroglyphs have included a variety of perspectives but conspicuously excluded the voices of those who produced the petroglyphs – the Klamath and Modoc people themselves. “Lava Beds protects some of the most significant rock art in Northern California,” said Dave Curtis, Lava Bed NM archeologist. “Dr. David puts the Klamath and Modoc back into this important story.”

Dr. David proposes that, while the Klamath and Modoc might have largely forgotten about their rock art heritage, this information was in no way lost. Information preserved in their sacred narratives (i.e., myths), supplemented by early ethnographic and ethnohistoric accounts demonstrate that the tribes have retained a substantial amount of information about Petroglyph Point and their Klamath Basin rock art heritage.

Robert David, a member of the Klamath Tribes, is an Adjunct Professor at Portland State University, where he also earned an M.A. in Anthropology. He later earned his Ph.D. from University of California–Berkley. He has studied Klamath Basin rock art for more than 20 years and is currently working on projects concerning Petroglyph Point in Lava Beds National Monument.

This program is part of an ongoing series of presentations related to the 150th anniversary of the Modoc War. The next event, “The Modoc War on Film,” will feature three films regarding the Modoc War, on March 25 at the Ross Ragland Theater in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Additional programs are being planned for March and April.  For more information, call the park at (530) 667-8110 or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/labe.


March 7
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


Butte Valley Community Center
52900 Hwy 97
Dorris, CA United States
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