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Between and Mortarboard

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Ceremonial Hodges Engraved Style Bowl

Accession Number

Ceremonial Hodges Engraved Style Bowl

Caddo; Mississippian

Artist Nationality

Object Creation Date
circa 1250

Medium & Support
terracotta with black ash firing finish and etched design

3 15/16 in (10 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Subject matter
The etched patterns on this bowl (meandering scroll and circles, the interstices punctuated by dots) are formally referred to as “Hodges Engraved Style,” but represent a cosmological design: the central circle of the world or sun (here, the bowl opening itself) is surrounded by the four directions of the surrounding etched design. Below this, the active, swirling spirals may indicate winds, the seasons, or the spinning motion of the cosmos. Pierced holes appear in a variety of Mississippian ceremonial objects to represent breath or an opening between the afterlife and the earthly world, and the dots in the design as well as the physically pierced knobs near the bowl’s opening may have served similar purposes. 

Physical Description
Bulbous bowl in dark and light browns on the outside, black interior. Patterns of scrolls, circles, and dots around the exterior.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

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Eastern Archaic
bowls (vessels)
terracotta (clay material)

5 Related Resources

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(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Indigenous North America Arts
(Part of 9 Learning Collections)
W19 Ballinger - HIST 202 - Doing History
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)
Cabinet T: Shelf 3
(Part of: Albertine Monroe-Brown Study-Storage Gallery)

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