Culture and Land Preservation
There is a ceremonial stone landscape that spans this region. When our ancestors came here 11,000 years ago they recognized the sacred nature of the giant shards of iron ore in the Ramapo Mountains and all the electrical and magnetic energy they possessed.
Our ancestors revered the power and importance of this place and we still do. That is our inheritance and responsibility. Our relationship to this land should be what guides policy.
People come from all over the world to see the beautiful forests of New Jersey and New York. Hidden in plain site, our ancestors speak to us today through these stone arrangements and structures.
Cairns, cradle rocks, compass stones, balance boulders, caves, viewing seats, and burial sites indicated sacred spaces on this land. Asunals or Stones are relatives in our culture as all life is, inanimate or animate. Asunals are our Grandfathers, for they have been here before our people.
Stones are a part of our Ceremony, history, and life today. Stones play an important symbiotic relationship in our physical and spiritual world. Asunals are treated with respect as any elder should be. They are here to assist and provide teachings to us, to ensure spiritual growth, much like Grandparents provide. Stones were/are used for Ceremony. Placing a stone (prayer stone) in a specific area, predesignated or spiritually guided, is an ongoing practice today. Stones placements were/are incorporated in many configurations often resulting in large areas or Ceremonial complexes.
Ceremonial Stone Landscapes were and are another extended form of our language. Even today when we enter the woods, the land speaks to us, allowing the traveler to see the Language that was left her by our ancestors. These many different arrangements of stones indicate direction, with meaning provoking the traveler to follow the code/language of stones, to this day. Language indicating shelter, water bodies, ceremonial complexes, and portals of spiritual worlds of entry. Our living history of Stone Language codes ensured the very survival of our people, providing shelter, water and spiritual access areas for body and spirit. We are the protectors of our living history and culture.
The Ramapough Culture and Land foundation works with state agencies and nonprofits to preserve our people’s sacred ceremonial stone landscapes.