Look, I found an Omar! The Glacial History of the Upper MidWest.

Look, I found an Omar! The Glacial History of the Upper MidWest.

Many Grandparents knew the word, even great grand parents often knew the word.

The word was “Omar”, little do most people know that it wasn’t just country slang or a colloquial but it is the shortened version of Omarolluk.

If your great grandparents were midwestern farmers they spent many days cleaning and picking fieldstone out of their fields.

Occasionally they would come across a curious stone that was a fine grained siltstone(Greywacke) and was grey in color.

It was filled with hemispherical holes or voids unlike any other stones in their field.

This was an Omar!

Once a year for the past few decades someone wanders into our store wanting to show me what they think is an “Indian stone”.

Often times they are dead set into thinking that some Native American spent days drilling meaningless holes into a siltstone rock.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

They fancy I know something about archeology and want my opinion.  It has absolutely nothing to do with archeology and everything to do with geology and glacial science (of which I know little) So I proceed with caution.

I’m not an archeologist or geologist and only have rudimentary knowledge of the subject.

Yet, I get to try and impart some of my limited knowledge regarding “Indian stones and rocks”!

*The stone has a fascinating story and its name Omar belies its origin.

It origins are in the far Canadian north of Hudson Bay. The Omarolluk formation is found only in the Blecher Islands.

A small group of islands that are remote as anywhere in North America.

The stone and its distribution are incredibly diagnostic.

The fact that some locals still know the colloquial name “Omar” indicates the passing down of knowledge.

Some of our ancestors knew and used this name, it also meant that sometime in the distant past a geologist visited this region and transmitted this knowledge to them.

The reason your ancestors and perhaps your grandparents found this stone in their fields was because of various glaciers that crept and swept this region as recently as ten thousand years ago.

This stone is tangible and meaningful evidence of historic glacial movement.

It is a present for science and geologists , it allows them to understand our changing world, not only geologically and glacially but also from the lexicon.

The Belcher Islands were discovered centuries ago and with that curious fact, someone one hundred years ago transmitted the knowledge and the word “Omar” or “Omarolluk” to your ancestors.

Rocks, Indian stones, lexiconography, geology, archeology all wrapped into one small stone in your grandfathers field.


2 Replies to “Look, I found an Omar! The Glacial History of the Upper MidWest.”

  1. I have three of such like rocks and I live in Spokane Washington well more towards Ford and Indian reservation but I found these on the road the walking roads or I stopped places and or without my dog and stuff and I found them and I thought they were interesting they literally look like card faces and Rock so that’s good that I ran across the the type of rock they are and their history I take all my rocks and take pictures of them once in a while when I can sit down have time to really look at him and analyze him so thank you very much I would like to send you three pictures of my rock

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