UK & World News

  • 4 August 2014, 22:26

Lover's Graffiti Scrawled Across Sacred Rock

An American Indian tribe in the northwestern US state of Washington is furious after a vandal daubed "I (heart) Miranda" on one of its most sacred sites.

The Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe discovered the pink-and-white graffiti on the Tamanowas Rock last month. 

The tag is about 8ft (2.4 metres) long and some 3ft tall.

The clean-up cost is estimated at $5,000 (£3,000), but the cultural damage is much worse, says the tribe.

Anette Nesse, chief operating officer for the tribe, told the Peninsula Daily News: "It's an incredibly important site for us.

"I don't know who Miranda is. She must mean a lot to somebody, but painting it on the rock is definitely not the best way to express it."

The 150-ft tall monolith - Tamanowas means "spirit power" in the tribe's language -  is 43 million years old.

For millennia, Salish Native Americans are said to have used the site for refuge and spiritual renewal rituals.

The rock is also thought to have been used as a lookout spot for hunters of mastodons, the now extinct elephant-like beasts that used to roam North America.

The tribe bought the rock and 62 surrounding acres - located about 50 miles (80km) northwest of Seattle - from the Jefferson Land Trust for $600,000 in December.

The tribe says no one has been arrested for the vandalism, which follows another "I (heart) Miranda" tag daubed on a theatre in the area last month.