The Neolithic World - Shining Land

Shining Land
The ancient sites of West Penwith, Cornwall
Palden Jenkins
Shining Land
and what they tell us about megalithic civilisation
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The Neolithic World

Sanctifiers of Belerion | The Neolithic 4500-2500 BCE

The Neolithic World and Mindset

Carn Kenidjack, as seen by telephoto from Botrea Barrows
Carn Kenidjack, a neolithic tor enclosure
One thing we cannot know is the Neolithic mindset. Looking at the thoughts of people from today’s remaining first nations yields some value. Here is an illustrative quote from Chief Dan George (1899-1981) of the Tsleil-Waututh nation in British Columbia, Canada. It is loosely applicable to Neolithic Cornwall in spirit, though not in detail:

I was born into a culture that lived in communal houses. My grandfather’s house was eighty feet long. It was called a smoke house, and it stood down by the beach along the inlet. All my grand-father’s sons and their families lived in this dwelling. Their sleeping apartments were separated by blankets made of bull rush weeds, but one open fire in the middle served the cooking needs of all.

In houses like these people learned to live with one another; learned to respect the rights of one another. And children shared the thoughts of the adult world and found themselves surrounded by aunts and uncles and cousins who loved them and did not threaten them. My father was born in such a house and learned from infancy how to love people and be at home with them.

Beyond this acceptance of one another there was a deep respect for everything in nature that surrounded them. My father loved the earth and all its creatures. The earth was his second mother. The earth and everything it contained was a gift from Great Spirit… and the way to thank this great spirit was to use its gifts with respect.

I remember, as a little boy, fishing with him up Indian River, and I can still see him as the sun rose above the mountain top in the early morning… I can see him standing by the water’s edge with his arms raised above his head while he softly moaned, “Thank you, thank you”.

It left a deep impression on my young mind. And I shall never forget his disappointment when once he caught me gaffing for fish ‘just for the fun of it’. “My son”, he said, “The Great Spirit gave you those fish to be your brothers, to feed you when you are hungry. You must respect them. You must not kill them just for the fun of it”.

This then was the culture I was born into and for some years the only one I really knew or tasted. This is why I find it hard to accept many of the things I see around me [today]. I see people living in smoke houses hundreds of times bigger than the one I knew. But the people in one apartment do not even know the people in the next and care less about them.

It is also difficult for me to understand the deep hate that exists among people... It is hard to understand a culture that spends more on wars and weapons to kill, than it does on education and welfare to help and develop. I see my white brothers going about blotting out nature from his cities. I see him strip the hills bare, leaving ugly wounds on the face of mountains…

I am afraid my culture has little to offer yours. But my culture did prize friendship and companionship… My culture lived in a big family community, and from infancy people learned to live with others. My culture did not prize the hoarding of private possessions – in fact, to hoard was a shameful thing to do among my people. The Indian looked on all things in nature as belonging to all and he expected to share them with others and to take only what he needed.

I have spoken.  

Chief Dan George, I am a Native of North America, from several online sources,

Shining Land
A book by Palden Jenkins about the ancient sites of West Penwith in Cornwall
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