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Mississippian Arts and Culture

Mississippian Culture

Mississippian CultureMississippian culture has always gathered attention of archeologists and other researchers. Mississippian art and culture is every interesting. The Mississippians made jewelry and tools with shell and copper. They were fine farmers and hunters and lived in a civilized manner.

Historians and archeologists have always been interested studying Mississippian culture and art. The Mississippians were the first two cultures in the Mississippi river valley and the south eastern United States between the times of roughly around 1080 to 1600. People living along the Ohio River in the Mississippian era settled in large permanent villages.

The Mississippians established settlements encircling a large building that was constructed in the center of the city. This city centre plaza consisted of two mounds. One mound served as a community centre and one served as the chiefs’ residence. Houses were made in rows around the centre plaza. On the outskirts of the town were smaller villages, farmlands and hunting camps. Shelters and other buildings were made of wattle and daub with thatched roofs. Some of the towns were fortified with tall earthen walls on four sides.

The Mississippian people were skilled farmers. They were dependant on their crops for food supply. They cultivated maize, beans, squash and pumpkins. They learnt to store crops for year round supply of food. These people hunted animals and were also engaged in fishing to ensure proper food supply for their families. The Mississippian craftsmen are still known for their pottery which they painted sometimes. Their artifacts that were made of bones, stones and shells are also popular. They used these artifacts as tools and personal adornment.

Copper was an important trade item for the Mississippian which was considered sacred. Copper was used to make a number of ceremonial objects. Shell was a handy item for the Mississippians. They made spoons, scrapers and hoes with shells and traded them. Shells were also carves and shaped to make ear jewelry such as beads, pendants and ear rings.

The Mississippian art was symbolic and showed their perceptions about the supernatural, political, social and natural world. The sculptures often had frogs, beavers, water birds, turtles, falcons and serpents, humans and human made objects and super natural beings with animal body parts on them.

The Mississippian culture and art it diverse and vast. Over the years it has been studied by archeologists, geologist and other researchers and has amazed them. These men were cultured and skillful. Chiefdom was an important feature of the Mississippian culture which enabled smooth running of the economy and society.

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