06 September 2011

Exploring the Ancient Southeastern Woodlands

Mound B at Moundville, Hale County, AL, photo: Jeffrey Reed
For two weeks, Choctaw-Hopi artist and professor Linda Lomahaftewa and I will travel through the south to visit archaeological sites in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Our goal is to further our research of the Mississippian and earlier indigenous cultures and the iconography of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex. We will both visit the mother mounds of our respective tribes for the first time. Our hope is to better understand connections between ancient peoples and contemporary tribes, intertribal relations, and the way oral histories connect to the land.

To contribute (even a dollar is gratefully appreciated!), visit our Kickstarter project page.

Some locations we will visit include:
We will extensively photograph these sites and will place some of our photographs into the public domain to be used by teachers and artists. During the trip, we'll sketch sites and post blogs. Upon our return to Santa Fe, we'll create new series of works based on the journey, which will be exhibited in the spring of 2012 at Ahalenia Studios in Santa Fe. We will give presentations of our travels in both New Mexico and Oklahoma, with the goal of sharing information and creating dialogue with artists, writers, storytellers, and researchers from a wide range of tribes.

  • Bartram, William. William Bartram on the Southeastern Indians. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002.
  • Chapman, Jefferson. Tellico Archaeology: Twelve Thousand Years of Native American History. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1985.
  • Dickens, Roy S. Cherokee Prehistory, The Pisgah Phase in the Appalachian Summit Region. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1976.
  • Fundaburk, Emma Lila. Sun Circles and Human Hands: The Southeastern Indians Art and Industries. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2001.
  • Gouge, Earnest. Totkv Mocvse/New Fire: Creek Folktales. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2004.
  • Power, Susan C. Early Art of the Southeastern Indians: Feathered Serpents and Winged Beings. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2004.
  • Reilly, F. Kent and James Garber, eds. Ancient Objects and Sacred Realms. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004.
  • Townsend, Richard F., ed. Hero, Hawk, and Open Hand: Hero, Hawk, and Open Hand: American Indian Art of the Ancient Midwest and South. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004.
  • Welch, Paul D. Moundville's Economy. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1991.


Vera Marie Badertscher said...

Fantastic idea to take a comprehensive road trip to these many sites. I can only hope that you might also make a book of your findings as well as using it as a spur for your art.

AMC said...

What an impressive undertaking! I hope that you are able to visit Wickliffe, Kincaid, Emerald (in IL)and Cahokia during your trip. Can't wait to hear about your adventures!

ahalenia said...

Thanks for the encouragement! We're focusing on the southern mound sites and will return through Tennessee and Arkansas. Cahokia is amazing, and they have a great museum. Taylor Keene recommended Timothy Pauketat's Cahokia: Ancient American's Great City on the Mississippi and it's proving a really good read.

Anonymous said...

This is such a cool site! Are yall planning on publishing an article?