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An Analysis of the Symbolism Expressed by the Birger Figurine

  • Guy Prentice (a1)

Abstract

During the field season of 1979 a bauxite statuette known as the Birger figurine was uncovered at the BBB Motor site, a Middle Mississippian ceremonial site on the outskirts of Cahokia. A comparison of the figurine's compositional elements with characteristics ascribed to fertility goddesses in the myths of several historic eastern North American tribes suggests that the Birger figurine's symbolism shares many of the concepts associated with various historic fertility deities, and that it represents a Mississippian version of the Earth-Mother.

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