Two Pre Historic Native American Hopewell Mound Peoples Bird Stones

Two Pre Historic Native American Hopewell Mound Peoples Bird Stones

1500 BC to 1000 BC North America

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Two Pre Historic Native American Hopewell Mound Peoples Bird Stones
One carved from green gneiss stone the other from banded slate the undersides with holes for attachment
Old smooth and worn patina
Circa 1500 – 1000 B.C

Size: 4.5cm high, 3cm wide, 9cm deep – 1¾ ins high, 1¼ ins wide, 3½ ins deep
5cm high, 3.5cm wide, 9.5cm deep – 2 ins high, 1¼ ins wide, 3¾ ins deep

LEFT HAND BIRD SOLD
LEFT HAND BIRD SOLD
See: Finch and Co catalogue no. 10, item no. 17b for another example of a bird stone

The Hopewell people are particularly known for their tradition of burying the dead in mounds and most Hopewell art occurs as components of mortuary offerings. A large percentage of both men and women had funerary gifts placed with them or were wearing durable ornaments or weaponry. Works of art such as these bird stones figured importantly in the mortuary rituals that helped to assert a personal and collective tribal identity.
The form and context of the mound peoples art clearly shows that the human-animal relationship was a key part of their beliefs. The spiritual imagery of their societies suggests a sense of community between people and animals and the importance of ritual in maintaining or renewing a natural cycle of fertility and the well being of both.
Medium
Stone
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