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Plain tripod bottle with effigy medallions
Clay, hand-made
Height x diameter 12.5 cm
Area of Origin: Neely’s Ferry, Arkansas, USA
Riggs, C.W.
Shreyas and Mina Ajmera Gallery of Africa, the Americas and Asia-Pacific
Gift of C.W. Riggs

Description: The Mississippian culture flourished from 900 to 1550 AD. During this time, large and complex political and cultural centres were built in the central Mississippi region of the United States. Thousands of people lived in these towns. Some of the settlements were large cities. The natural resources of the area were abundant. Edible plants included acorns from oak trees, wild rice, wild potato, wild onions, and a great variety of berries, nuts, and fruits. Mammals, birds, and fish were plentiful. With a short and warm winter (4°C) and hot summers, the climate was ideal for horticulture, and corn and squash were planted. The inhabitants needed containers for their food. Great numbers of bowls, jugs, and pots were made, all by hand, without a potter’s wheel, probably by pottery specialists for sale and trade. The pottery vessels these peoples left behind date to the Late Mississippian period, from about 1300 to 1550 AD. The ROM’s collection contains mostly plain rimmed bowls, undecorated long-necked bottles polished in red, and others not polished but with dull surfaces. However, some objects were more elaborately constructed and decorated. One unusual specimen is this tripod bottle with three affixed miniature clay masks.

Exhibit History: Shreyas and Mina Ajmera Gallery of Africa, the Americas and Asia-Pacific, April 2008

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