Saturday, January 7, 2012

"Big Boy" Effigy Pipe

Ceremonial flint clay polished pipe, Spiro Mount site, Le Flore County, Oklahoma.
A.D. 1350 to A.D. 1450, 11" h., 9" w., weight 11 lbs 8oz

This is the piece from Spiro once popularly known as “Big Boy.” The object is a male figure, naked except for a fur/feather cloak on back and four strings of beads around the neck. He wears a flat round cap set forward on the head. The cap is a flat tablet with rolled round brim and containing a copper plate. There are two maskette ear-ornaments. The hair is in a knot at the back of the head. There is a strap from the hat on both sides of the head which winds around the top knot. There are five vertical collar rolls at the nape of the neck. A rope necklace drops from the nape of the neck.

There are two pipe orifices on the back, on which is blackened. The top pipe orifice begins approximately 2 cm from the nape of the neck bands. The figure has a cloak of 28 feathers or animal skins on the back. Hands rest on the knees with legs crossed.

A long thick plait of hair extends from the cap in a roll to tie at the top of a smooth section at the bottom. The left eye is smaller than the right. Ochre was rubbed on the cloak area and a black substance is evident in strands around the neck above the pipe orifice.

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Museum Collections.

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