Classic Mimbres Black-on-white bowl: turkeys consuming centipede

Mogollon -- Mimbres
1000–1150 CE
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General Description

Mogollon populations domesticated turkeys from around 600 CE, keeping them primarily for their feathers. The painter of this bowl illustrates six turkeys, four of which consume a central centipede, a common food source.

According to certain accounts among populations of the US Southwest, people emerged into the current world through an opening (sipapupuni) in the earth. People and animals escaped the floods that were destroying the previous world by climbing a tree into the world above. The turkey was the last to emerge since they are slow and earthbound. The tips of the bird’s tail feathers were turned white by the foam of rising flood waters.

Excerpt from

Kimberly L. Jones, PhD, Hopi Visions: Journey of the Human Spirit, Label text, 2018.