Native Village
Youth and Education news
November 1, 2010, Volume 4

Indian Mounds ropes removed Saturday before game

Condensed by Native Village

Louisiana: Before the recent game between LSU and West Virginia, the yellow ropes blocking off the campus's Indian Mounds were taken down. Then, despite the many signs reading "Help preserve the mounds," LSU fans still
rode bikes and cardboard boxes down the historical landmark.

Why? LSU calls it a "tradition."

This tradition is causing concern for those in LSU's Department of Geology and Geophysics who put up the signs.

"All we know is that call came in at 6:30 a.m. this morning to take the ropes down,"  said Caitlyn McNabb, an anthropology graduate student. "Somebody with a lot of power asked them to take the ropes down after we had the authority to put the ropes up."

McNabb was passing out fliers to help preserve the mound.

While the department was allowed to keep the signs up, kids took them down to use for sliding down the hill. 

LSU's mounds are vulnerable to damage by nature. Students and faculty are trying to prevent man-induced damage, such as added pressure to the structures on game days.

"We're really worried about people sliding down the hill because when people kick up little divots of dirt, they're kicking away cultural material," McNabb said.

McNabb was told she and her colleagues were not allowed to police the mounds, so McNabb and others began handing out fliers to parents who had children on the mounds.

Not everyone cooperated. "It's a tradition for our kids," sais LSU alumnus Anna Fontenot. Her kids have slid down the mounds since they were old enough to do so. "This is what they'll remember about LSU football - coming to the mounds and sliding down."

Louisiana has some of the oldest and best preserved Indian mounds in the world. Many are older than pyramids in Mexico and South American and Stonehenge in England. 

"These mounds are Native American mounds," McNabb said.  "They are about 6,000 years old and, by standing on them, the weight is destroying what's underneath."

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