Between AD 900-1600, the native peoples of the Mississippi River
Valley and other areas of the Eastern Woodlands of the United
States conceived and executed one of the greatest artistic
traditions of the Precolumbian Americas. Created in the media of
copper, shell, stone, clay, and wood, and incised or carved with a
complex set of symbols and motifs, this seven-hundred-year-old
artistic tradition functioned within a multiethnic landscape
centered on communities dominated by earthen mounds and plazas.
Previous researchers have referred to this material as the
Southeastern Ceremonial Complex (SECC).
This groundbreaking volume brings together ten essays by leading
anthropologists, archaeologists, and art historians, who analyze
the iconography of Mississippian art in order to reconstruct the
ritual activities, cosmological vision, and ideology of these
ancient precursors to several groups of contemporary Native
Americans. Significantly, the authors correlate archaeological,
ethnographic, and art historical data that illustrate the stylistic
differences within Mississippian art as well as the numerous
changes that occur through time. The research also demonstrates the
inadequacy of the SECC label, since Mississippian art is not
limited to the Southeast and reflects stylistic changes over time
among several linked but distinct religious traditions. The term
Mississippian Iconographic Interaction Sphere (MIIS) more
adequately describes the corpus of this Mississippian art. Most
important, the authors illustrate the overarching nature of the
ancient Native American religious system, as a creation unique to
the native American cultures of the eastern United States.
Subjects: Archaeology, Sociology
Table of Contents
You are viewing the table of contents
You do not have access to this
on JSTOR. Try logging in through your institution for access.