Effigy of a Mammoth Burned in Utah

Burning effigies has been very common in protests, but in Southern Utah, a town burned a 16-foot effigy of a mammoth in celebration of the winter solstice. In addition, the burning of the effigy of a mammoth will also draw attention to the historical importance of the area.

Residents of Pachak and Bluff built the effigy in about three weeks, and they only used sticks and two support poles to do it. The town hopes for the wooden mammoth to influence researchers to delve further into the history of the area because of the demonstration.

The effigy was set on fire with primitive Native American technology: bows and arrows and atlatl spears, all flaming. This gave the demonstration an edge, hopefully catching attention from researchers.

The effigy of the mammoth represents the discovery of the mammoth petroglyphs near Bluff, which is a town located on the San Juan River. Joe Pachak, a rock expert and artist, found the petroglyphs in 1987.

Dr. Andrew Gulliford, a professor of history at Fort Lewis College, believes that the petroglyphs are between 11,000 to 13,000 years old, and may help in further understanding the history in the southwest desert.

Gulliford wants protection of the site for further scientific analysis of the 4-5 miles of space of containing the unique and fine rock art. There are some detractors that say the petroglyphs aren’t as old as Gulliford think they are because the sandstone panels would have eroded by now, and they clearly haven’t.