simple, abstracted seated bird shape with large head; greenish-grey banded stone; holes on bottom

Bird stone, c. 1500-500 BCE

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Gift of Beverly N. Grossmanexpand_more  2001.63

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This simple, abstracted bird shaped stone appears contemporary, yet was made thousands of years ago by a Native American artist in North America. Smooth and graceful, this delicate-looking Bird Stone was used as a ceremonial weight for a hunter’s atlatl (spear-throwing device). The beauty embodied in this tool may have been carved as an emblem of prestige, a marker of coming of age, a supernatural talisman or as a clan symbol in addition to its utilitarian purpose. These stones were often made from distant materials, another indicator of their importance.

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Birdstone. Mississippian (#593)
Details
Title
Bird stone
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2001.63
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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simple, abstracted seated bird shape with large head; greenish-grey banded stone; holes on bottom