Petroglyphs – rock carvings – are one of humanity's most ancient forms of expression.
All it took was an artist, a tool and a rock surface. When color was added with fingertips or brushes, it became a pictograph.
Gabriola Island is known in some quarters as "Petroglyph Island" because of its abundance of ancient rock carvings. The artists were the Snuneymuxw First Nation, a Coast Salish people believed to have been here for 5,000 years.
Snuneymuxw First Nation Petroglyphs
Gabriola was a natural for rock carving because the island is composed of sandstone, which is soft and easy to work. Native subjects sprang from nature – fish, serpents, birds, stick-like human figures, creatures of mythic design and fanciful life forms combining human and animal forms.