Mississippian Effigy Pipes

Provenance, Style, and Iconography – by Vincas P. Steponaitis, Professor of Anthropology & Chair and Director Research Laboratories of Archaeology, University of North Carolina – The Marin Center Lecture Room, San Rafael — February 24, 2013 at 10:00 AM

“He will be reviewing his collaborative studies on large effigy pipes, usually made of stone, that are typically found in the trans-Appalachian South during the Mississippi period (AD 1000-1500).

Although their geographical distribution is wide, many of these pipes are made of a particular type of rock: the Glendon Limestone, which outcrops prominently near Vicksburg, Mississippi. This finding suggests the pipes were made in the Lower Mississippi Valley and transported elsewhere. Narrowing the source further allows us to examine questions of style and iconography. The pipes depict a restricted set of themes – including supernatural creatures and humans in crouching poses – related to Native religious beliefs and practices.”