ritual cup with serpent and trophy heads
ritual cup with serpent and trophy heads
ritual cup with serpent and trophy heads
ritual cup with serpent and trophy heads
ritual cup with serpent and trophy heads
ritual cup with serpent and trophy heads

ritual cup with serpent and trophy heads

Middle Mississippian culture
ancestral Caddoan people

Currently on View in K214.c5
Image Licensing

Collection of Robert E. Bell [1914-2006] {1}, Norman, Oklahoma; Earl C. Townsend [1914-2007], Indianapolis, Indiana; given to the John Herron Art Institute, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art, in 1962.

{1} Robert Bell was a professor of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma

Gallery Label

This cup was used as a ritual drinking vessel and possibly as a chest pendant for an important individual.

The engraving on the cup represents a winged, horned serpent coiled about three trophy heads.

The trophy heads of sacrificed enemies depicted on this cup have serrated necks with spurting blood indicated by lines.

Seashells were trade items imported hundreds of miles from the Gulf of Mexico.

The Caddo peoples had a sophisticated culture which, from about 900-1700, flourished in present-day Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.

Object Information

culture
Middle Mississippian culture
culture
ancestral Caddoan people
creation date
1200-1400
materials
seashell
dimensions
11-1/2 x 7 x 5 in.
mark descriptions
Inscribed in collector's hand, black paint, back side: 879 / 2081 / TOWNSEND
accession number
62.223
credit line
Gift of Mr. Earl C. Townsend, Jr.
copyright
Public Domain
collection
Native Arts of the Americas
colors

You May Also Like