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Excerpt from Thaw Catalog: By the end of the classic era of the Mississippian cultures the widespread distribution of this type of mask-like shell gorgets probably relates to the spread of a reinterpretation of old symbolism in a new ritual. ... The symbolism of these gorgets, their ritual use that survived among some tribes in historic times, and the evidence of increasing warfare in the 16th century, suggests that the maskettes played a role in war-related rituals.
height 5 in ; width 4.5 in