Hummingbird Imagery and Smoking Pipes in the Mississippian World

Author(s): Dennis Blanton

Year: 2016


Smoking ritual was highly elaborated among late prehistoric Mississippian societies in the southeastern United States. Their smoking pipes were embellished with particular kinds of symbolism, not least among them avian themes. During one interval hummingbird imagery was prominent and this presentation will outline an explanation for it ultimately based on the symbiotic plant-pollinator relationship of tobacco and hummingbirds. The archaeological, ethnohistorical, and ecological bases for the interpretation will be described, and cross-cultural analogies will be explored.

Cite this Record

Hummingbird Imagery and Smoking Pipes in the Mississippian World. Dennis Blanton. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405161)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;