Mississippian Effigy Pipes: Provenance, Style, and Iconography

February 24, 2013 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
The Marin Center Lecture Room
Civic Center Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903

 by Vincas P. Steponaitis, Professor of Anthropology & Chair and Director Research Laboratories of Archaeology, University of North Carolina

“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.”