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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Art of the United States : Pre-Columbian Art / Hopewell Green Slate Ceremonial Axe
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Pre-Columbian Art / Hopewell Green Slate Ceremonial Axe - PF.0333
Origin: The Mississipi Valley, USA
Circa: 200 BC to 200 AD
Dimensions: 5.25" (13.3cm) high
Catalogue: V1
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Slate

Location: United States
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Around 100 B.C. the Hopewell people settled in the northern woodlands. By the first century A.D. their culture had flourished, influencing a wide area as far as the lower Mississippi. The society of the Hopewell, as well as other tribes, were essentially hierarchical-- comprising a chief, ruling elite and high ranking shamans; all of whom required specialized objects for domestic and ritual use. This beautiful axe was intended as a ceremonial tool, perhaps used to 'duplicate' in ceremony the larger axes used in battle. The staff is tubular in shape and rounded at the bottom; the blade curves gracefully from two horizontal extensions. Its elemental form and perfect balance attests to the carver's expertise in working with stone instruments. There is such elegance in this axe it almost seems to be a result of an act of nature; though we can readily see the experienced hand of an artist who created something of power for the sake of his gods. - (PF.0333)


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