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Carson Red on Buff Human Head Effigy Bottle / Southeast, Mississippian


Head Jar -- Head vase of light brown ware, front painted red, back and bottom of natural color; red paint around eyes and mouth; perforated ears, raised figures at corners of eyes and middle of forehead. This example and many others appear to represent the head of a dead man; the eyes are closed and there is an indication that the lips may have been sewn together. These pots may represent trophy heads or they may commemorate revered individuals from within the society.

Much of this pottery was painted with red, white and black pigments in elaborate interlocking designs or in stripes. Other pottery was finished as black or dark grayware that was incised and/or engraved with curvilinear and rectilinear designs. This vessel is an example of the Carson Red on Buff pottery type. Shell temper and Red paint on a buff surface characterizes Carson Red on Buff pottery.

Curatorial Remarks

Carson Red on Buff (Philips et al. 2003:132) human head effigy bottle with out-flaring rim, rounded lip and sub-globular body. Bottle in shape of human head. Face is painted red except for around eyes and mouth. Both ears have two punctated holes. "Turkey Track" motif on outside of eyes and on forehead. Vertical line on back of head. Rounded circular base. Vessel color 7.5YR 7/3 Pink. Paint color 10R 4/6 Red.

Philips, Philip, James A. Ford, and James B. Griffin. Archaeological Survey in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley 1940-1947. Classics Southeast Archaeology. Tuscaloosa, GA: University of Alabama Press, 2003.

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Carson Red on Buff Human Head Effigy Bottle; Ceramic head jar
Southeast, Mississippian
1400-1600 CE
Late Mississippian
Yell county, Arkansas
Clay, temper, shells, painted, punctated, appliqued
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
Previous Number(s): 
V-467; 5425.1293; Lemley V-467
Not On View

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