During the Spring 2012 Semester CASAA was able to get Dr.Kevin Smith of Middle Tennessee State University to give a presentation on some of his newest research.
Everyone was invited to attend his talk on the 29th of February 2012.
The Hero Twins, Spider Grandmother, and Cosmic Regenesis: Mythic Themes in Middle Cumberland Iconography:
Dr.Smith's presentation covered a number of iconographical connections made between prominant Mississippian themes and figures. His original abstract is below.
"Ritual acts designed to literally "Regenerate the Cosmos" are now viewed as a key theme underlying much of the iconography of the late prehistoric Midwestern and Southeastern Mississippian cultures. In his presentation, Smith examines a series of key iconographic objects (ca. A.D. 1100-1350) from the Middle Cumberland Region around modern Nashville, Tennessee in pursuit of their possible meanings in the context of acts of Creation and Rebirth. Drawing on Native American sagas from the historic period, Smith proposes that some of these prehistoric objects depict ancestral versions of stories centered on the epic journey of The Hero Twins into the Underworld to battle the Giants and resurrect their fallen father. In concert with these predominantly male-centered images, other objects -- enacted through ritual performance -- are proposed to represent Spider Grandmother, the bringer of both life and the Sacred Fire to humanity."