5 1/2" Full Body Human Effigy Bottle. Crittenden Co, AR. Solid. Detailed features and fine finish. Davis G10 COA.
This hooded female human effigy bottle is reportedly from Crittenden Co, AR.
Although human effigies from Crittenden Co (specifically the Bradley Site)
typically show prominent, forward protruding thighs and legs, this effigy
shows no legs or thighs at all with the hands resting on the bottom portion
of the undecorated waterbottle where the legs would have been. The bottle
shows a small row of spinal protrusions representing the typical "hunchback
style" human effigy. These effigies were once thought to represent shamans
or medicine men/women and the spinal protrusion was thought to show an
actual deformity seen among the Mississippians. However, this deformity has
never been found in Mississippian burials in enough frequency to justify the
commonality of this feature in Mississippian human effigy pottery. The
majority of the female effigies were thought to be depicted as being
pregnant. Current thought is that these effigies represent "The Old Woman
that Never Dies" Mississippian deity, (what we might think of as a "Mother
Nature" figure) and not an actual person in the tribe.
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