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Sauk bowl
ca. 1850
Wood, brass tacks
24 x 44 cm
Collected by Mark R. Harrington

Wooden effigy bowls of this size, important items in the feasts that accompany religious ceremonies, are fairly rare. They are carved from the burls, or knots, of trees and are made by first splitting the burl from a tree, then burning and scraping its interior to form the bowl. Exceptionally carved bowls such as this one are enhanced by the lustrous swirling grain of the wood. The exquisite human head and contour of shoulders seamlessly rising up from the rim of this bowl suggest the central importance of ceremonial feasting and its spiritual associations.

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