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An Analysis of the Symbolism Expressed by the Birger Figurine

Guy Prentice
American Antiquity
Vol. 51, No. 2 (Apr., 1986), pp. 239-266
DOI: 10.2307/279939
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/279939
Page Count: 28
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
An Analysis of the Symbolism Expressed by the Birger Figurine
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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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