ST. LOUIS ROAD TRIP: 7th Entry and Pre-Contact shell gorget


Mississippian Indigenous cultural artifacts at the University of Southern Illinois 

I have seen the bird man discs. This image shows me holding one and I am basing my new work on it. It was quite an experience to actually it.

My search for the Bird Man was inspired by my powwow work. I wanted to see how far back in time I could trace the evolution of the feather bustle worn by traditional dancers. My ethnographic-based research led to archaeology and to the Mississippian earth mound builders. As seen in my portrait of Shoots The Crow, we are seeing a continued relationship between the birds of prey and warriors.

I was surprised to see a similarity to Mayan symbols. I felt it shows how interconnected the world was before Columbus arrived. I would like to think that there were cultural exchanges taking place, just as they are taking place in today’s powwow.


This post is part of a series on my long awaited road trip to St. Louis, Missouri to study the
Pre-Contact Mississippian earth mounds and ancient Indigenous cultures. 

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