Hero, Hawk, and Open Hand - Townsend, Richard F. - Yale University Press
Art and Architecture

Hero, Hawk, and Open Hand

American Indian Art of the Ancient Midwest and South

  • Edited by Richard F. Townsend
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Out of Print.

Along the Ohio, Tennessee, and Mississippi Rivers, the archaeological remains of earthen pyramids, plazas, large communities, and works of art and artifacts testify to Native American civilizations that thrived there between 3000 B.C. and A.D. 1500. This fascinating book presents exciting new information on the art and cultures of these ancient peoples and features hundreds of gorgeous photographs of important artworks, artifacts, and ritual objects excavated from Amerindian archaeological sites.

Drawing on excavation findings and extensive research, the contributors to the book document a succession of distinct ancient populations in the pre-Columbian world of the American Midwest and Southeast. A team of interdisciplinary scholars examines the connections between archaeological remains of different regions and the themes, forms, and rituals that continue in specific tribes of today. The book also includes the personal reflections of contemporary Native Americans who discuss their perspectives on the significance of the fascinating and beautiful prehistoric artifacts as well as their own cultural practices today.

Richard F. Townsend is curator of African and Amerindian art at The Art Institute of Chicago.


Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (June to September, 2005).

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (June to September, 2005)