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by Beth Spencer over a year ago

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MAGF's FALL TRIP VISITED WHISTLER MOUND GROUP

Report by Dwight Weiser

The tour, on Nov. 12, enabled participants to walk the same ceremonial grounds that Woodland Period people had built and considered sacred.  Located in western Waushara County on a narrow isthmus between Fish and Hancock Lakes, the site was an ideal place for broadcasting the trance-producing acoustic rhythm of sacred dance (stomp, chant and drum beat) so that it could have been dramatically heard across both lakes and far into the surrounding forestry during clan gatherings.

This site features one of Wisconsin's last surviving enclosure-type mound arrangements and is extremely rare owing to two raised oval loops, one inside the other, measuring 120 feet long and 51 feet wide.  This well-preserved and unique structure is accompanied by two astronomically-aligned rows of conical mounds along its long western side, and a 10 foot wide walled round intaglio off its adjacent south-east corner.

Researching the literature we learn that enclosure mounds were most likely sacred ceremonial sites dating back to between 500 and 1200 A.D. and thought to be related to Adena-Hopewell beliefs that a circular construction protected their cultures from undesirable ghosts or supernatural forces.

 

Discussion by participants of this tour suggests that MAGF should revisit this site next Spring and possibly include side trips to Roche Cri petroglyths and mounds near Plainfield, both in close proximity.