The corner of NE 115th and NE Shaver has a beautiful new gate to welcome the neighborhood and community to the labyrinth on the Parkrose High School grounds. The design and fabrication of the gate was generously donated by Eileen and George Belanger. This corner has been closed for years and created a very underused part of the property. Now it opens and welcomes you.

The mural on the east side of the high school building shows “Horses Through History and World Culture”. The design of the gate, a turtle holding a labyrinth on it’s back, was chosen to continue the theme of “through history and culture”.

Turtles are often seen as easygoing, patient and wise creatures. Their long lifespan and slow steady movement suggest longevity, stability and tranquility and are used in many cultures, religions, mythologies and folklore around the world.

In several cultures the turtle carries the world on its back or supports the heavens. In Cheyenne tradition, the earth is created and only grandmother turtle can support it on her back. In Mohawk tradition, when the world turtle stretches from the weight of the earth, trembling and shaking occur.

In China the tortoise is one of the Four Fabulous Animals symbolizing endurance, strength and longevity.

In Japan it is known as “Minogame” and is a symbol of longevity and great happiness.

Paste cakes of flour shaped like turtles are made for festivals in Taiwanese villages to assure security, prosperity and harmony.

In Hindu mythology four elephants who stand on the shell of a turtle hold up the world.

Here on our gate the turtle holds our labyrinth.

We welcome you to write in and add other stories of turtles through history and world culture.

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