The First Americans
Learn about Indians who lived in the Mid-South between 1200-1700A.D. Discover the pottery they created for cooking, storing food, and for use in ceremonies. The Indians were devoutly religious and constructed monumental temple mounds in their villages to honor the Sun God. They believed in an afterlife and buried vessels containing food and water with the dead to sustain their souls after death.
The Mississippi Valley just south of Memphis is famous for its beautifully decorated Indian pottery. The dog effigy vessel, found near the town of Walls, Mississippi, is an excellent example of the high degree of workmanship attained by Mississippian women potters.
Teapots are associated with the Quapaw Indians who lived on the Arkansas River. They occur late in the history of the Indians of the Mid-South and are often found on sites containing European trade goods.
Archaeologists believe the vases in the exhibit either represent the severed heads enemies killed in battle or the heads of ancestors. Incised lines on the face are the only surviving evidence of the facial and body tattooing reported by European explorers and colonists. Holes in the ears once contained ornaments made of feathers and beads.
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Our staff recommends the following link on the First Americans.