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Native American Spider Gorget
Native American Spider Gorget
Resource Typeimage
TitleNative American Spider Gorget
Coverage / YearFulton County, Southern Illinois
DescriptionRound marine shells with spider designs carved onto them. The shells are about 3" in diameter.
InterpretationGorgets are pendants worn at the neck like jewelry or as throat armor. Spiders figured in at least two Native American mythologies. In one they were the first creature on earth, symbolizing life; in another, the spider carried fire on its back to the earth. The spiders carved into these shells are rendered so accurately that they can be identified as Orb Weavers. Only about twenty gorgets decorated with spiders are known to exist, and these are two of the three found at the Crable Site in Southern Illinois. The shells themselves probably came from the Gulf of Mexico and would have been traded from one native culture to another as rare objects.
Lesson Plans / ThemesHow we learn about communities; American communities in history; Native American Stories
Learning Standards16 History; 18 Social Systems; 15 Economics;
Author or CreatorNative Americans
SourceDonated to the Lakeview Museum by William Rutherford
Subject / KeywordsJewelry; Body Armor; Shells; Native American; Southern Illinois; Archaeology; Gorgets; Indians of North America
Collection PublisherLakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences;
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statement
Resource IdentifierLVM1965.074.001; LVM1965.074.002
CONTENTdm file name6094182162002_NatAmerspidgorg2.jpg
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