Friends will host a Winter Solstice event at Shell Mound on Tuesday December 21 starting at 4:00 and ending with the setting of the sun over Palmetto Mound. All are welcome, rain or shine, and the event is free. For the past several years, the weather has been cold, overcast, rainy, even stormy. It has nevertheless been a wonderful place to be for the solstice. This year, we hope for warmer and sunnier.
Why at Shell Mound? Shell Mound is a large shell-bearing archaeological site that was once the location of special gatherings for Native American groups across the broader region. This 10-page booklet tells the Shell Mound story.
A major part of the story is that Shell Mound is on one of the arms of a huge, U-shaped dune, much of which has eroded since it was formed by ice-age winds. The dune is aligned with the solstices. The sun sets over the open end of the dune and rises over the closed end, as the booklet linked above relates.
Palmetto Mound is at the other end of the two arms at the open end of the dune. Native peoples buried their dead at Shell Mound, near where the sun sets at Winter Solstice. Shell Mound is a sacred and storied site. You will hear more if you can come and join the event.
The event will include: