"Makkeweks" Ohlone/Rumsen for "Sea Monster"
Lake Merrit, once a tidal marsh system and estuary with an inlet to the Bay, was home to a variety of wildlife including leopard sharks and bat rays. Sightings of these creatures likely inspired the stories of sea monsters in the Lake. Such stories originated with the Ohlone and persist in our imagination today.
As Lake Merrit's habitat is enhanced and tidal
exchange increases, marine wildlife will become
more abundant. Makkeweks is an homage to
the Lake's renewal and a harkening of the return
of resident fauna. Inspired by the bat ray, leopard
shark, pipefish and goby, Makkeweks is a sea
monster perhaps as imagined by the Ohlone or
by early European settlers, or by future generations
upon glimpsing a mysterious fin or hump rising
from the estuary.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Animals • Environment • Native Americans.
Location. 37° 48.47′ N, 122° 15.837′ W. Marker is in Oakland, California, in Alameda County. Marker can
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The War With Spain Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); USS Maine Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Paramount Theatre (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Lathams (approx. 0.4 miles away); Latham Square (approx. 0.4 miles away); Uptown Saturday Night (approx. 0.4 miles away); General Strike! (approx. 0.4 miles away); Crossroads (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oakland.
More about this marker. The marker is mounted to a waist high monument in Snow Park directly in front of the Makkeweks sculpture, just steps away from Lake Merrit.
Also see . . . Measure DD at Work: Lakeside Green Streets Project Grand Opening (City of Oakland, June 2019). "The Bay Area artist team of Wowhaus (Scott Constable & Ene Osteraas-Constable) created a monumental bronze sculpture for the Measure DD-funded Lakeside Green Streets project, located adjacent to the new Snow Park Promenade at 20th & Harrison Streets. Sited in a sunken ‘rain garden’ that reclaims and treats storm water runoff, the 16’ long sculpture depicts a fantastical sea monster inspired by an Ohlone folktale. Sculpted by Scott Constable, Makkeweks combines elements of the leopard shark, bat ray and other species common to the Bay, in celebration of Lake Merritt’s restoration and the subsequent return of native animal life...." (Submitted on December 22, 2020.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 22, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 22, 2020, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 35 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 22, 2020, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.