David Dye


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Bowls with adorno rims are found throughout the Memphis area. Perhaps one of the most frequent are the human-like images of figures wearing conical hat. Once thought to represent “corn gods”, archaeologists now recognize this specific being as one of the Hero Twins – mythical beings sent to earth by Earthmaker, to rid the world of cannibalistic giants. The Twins possessed miraculous powers, including replacing their brains with rocks so their heads would rattle. Many of these adorno bowls have heads that rattle, including this one, which dates to the sixteenth century. Such bowls may have held offerings to the twins and the figures may have been the subject of prayers and supplications for good weather and success in warfare.


16th Century


Pottery; Adorno Rimmed Bowl; Mississippian; David Dye; David Dye Exhibit; Exhibit Photographs