THE SUN WORSHIP MURAL AT CAHOKIA article by John White, MES
- All,I received the following email and very fine w/four files from Dr. John White of the Midwestern Epigraphic Society. He occasionally sends articles or web sites members of this group might find of interest. I spent a few days last summer at a Lake Superior resort in Copper Harbor, Michigan with John and Pat White of Columbus, Ohio...crawled down into mines and old sites with them I'd never see before. John will be one of the speakers at the AAPS Conference in Marquette, MI September 17-19http://aaapf.org/scripts/openExtra.asp?extra=1. He will speak also at the Oct 8-10, 2010 - Midwestern Epigraphic Society Symposium ~ Dr Reinoud de Jonge, Key Speaker - See Rocks and RowsVince, you might particularly enjoy the Cahokia article, and I believe you and John met at the MES/THOR/AAPS Conference in Wilmington, Ohio a few years ago. I do not recall how to download the files from my (older) computer and transfer them back to the Files section of our site here. So I will send you the email hoping you will have time to do so. Thanks!Martin, I appreciate your having sent the announcement of the 10th Annual Algonquian Peoples Seminar at the New York State Museum in Albany, New York this weekend. Might have thought about attending if I was not painting my house. I do not personally know either of the following, but the keynote speaker, tribal President, Judge Kimberly M. Vele, and the 11:00 AM speaker, JoAnn Schedler are from the Stockbridge Munsee Mohican Tribe located forty miles east of my home in Central Wisconsin. I drive to that area every few months to attend a meeting, anniversary, or very occasionally a sweat lodge.I will print a few copies of the Albany conference schedule to hand out to a few recovering friends who might want to make a journey back to a future conference in New York near the geographical roots of some of their predecessors.Thanks, SusanFW: cahokia - submission of old unpublished articleWednesday, April 14, 2010 12:11 PM
MIDWESTERN EPIGRAPHIC NEWSLETTER , Volume 27, Number 2 , 2010
THE SUN WORSHIP MURAL AT CAHOKIA
by John J White , IIIAncient Science and Technology CenterMidwestern Epigraphic SocietyColumbus , Ohio
In late November, 1993, I took a field trip to the Greater St Louis area. The major experiences for a raw beginner in museum studies were the
St Louis Art Museum and the Indian Museum near Collinsville, Illinois called
Cahokia. The recent article on an alleged Pig-soldier describes a good find
made at the St Louis Art Museum.1 At Cahokia I was impressed by a large Sun
worship mural that was a composite impression of the ancient resident
culture (700-1400 CE) that was a segment of the Mississippian culture of the
Greater Southeastern United States during the Medieval period. The modern
designers of the Cahokia Mural by Laura West did a high quality job of
representing this old culture and religion.
My research interests have turned toward the interpretation of Sun
religion as a simple addition to the older Earth Mother Culture. My
findings indicate this is the correct view of the majority Sun religion.
There is a minority Sun religion that went in an entirely different
direction. Mississippian Sun Religion is similar to that of Greater Mexico.
Its origins are connected historically with the emergence of the Aztecs.
The situation raises the question of whether Mexican Sun religion was
introduced by the Aztecs or was practiced by older residents. I favor the
The mural portrays a typical sunrise ceremony for PIASO
(The-Father-God) with a Chief, a Head Priest, and two Assistants. The flute
(phallus of the Sun) conjures the Sun (god of the day), whereas the rattles
conjure the Serpent (god of the night). Equal arm crosses honor the Earth
Mother. The head priest wears a curved head-ornament symbol of the Serpent.
1. JJ White, "The Pig-Soldier from Moche Appears to be a Fox After All", Midwestern Epigraphic Journal 21, 92-94 (2007).Figure 1. Sun Worship Mural at Cahokia State Park.
Figure 2. Closeup of the Indian Chief and the Assistant Priest with the Flute on the Cahokia Mural.
Figure 3. Closeup of the Assistant Priest with the Rattles.
Figure 4. Closeup of the Head Priest on the Cahokia Mural.