Wood duck effigy bowls have a long history in the Mississippi Valley. Unlike most ducks, wood ducks nest in the cavities of large trees, which are located near or over water. The bowl, with its “pie crust” rim treatment illustrates the well-defined crest, eye surrounds, short beaks, and square tails. Their red eyes with white eye-ring makes their eyes seem especially large. One of the most beautiful duck species in North America, they were venerated for their ability to transcend the watery realm via trees as an axis mundi, thus connecting the Beneath World with the sky realm. The burnished, deep wood duck bowl from Chucalissa would date to the sixteenth century.
Dye, David, "Wood Duck Effigy Bowl" (2022). Artifacts. 2.
Pottery; Wood Duck Effigy Bowl; Mississippian; David Dye; David Dye Exhibit; Exhibit Photographs