EVERY AUTHENTIC PALEO-INDIAN PIECE
HAS SAME SET OF THEMES ON IT.
With this knowledge, you can quickly distinguish a Paleo-Indian artifact from a pseudomorph (something created by nature).
THEMES ARE VISUAL REPRESENTATIONS OF SPIRITUAL BELIEFS THAT WERE PASSED FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION.
THE THEMES ARE SIMILAR TO THE TEN COMMANDMENTS IN THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN BELIEF SYSTEM.
Throughout the world, most hunters and gatherers believe in a spirit-filled world. Their lives include a variety of rituals to give respect to spirits and to learn from them.
1. THE CALDERA
The caldera is the center of the geothermal volcano.
THE APPEARANCE OF THE CALDERA ON DIFFERENT MATERIALS
The area referred to in this website as "The Caldera" was the Sacred Ground of the Paleo-Indians. It was a place of sacrifice.
2. THE FACE OF THE DEITY
Their God lived within the Caldera and is shown on every piece with a distorted face. One eye is a always a different shape than the other. The shape of the mouth also differs, but to a lesser degree. The features of the face reflect changes in the shapes of the steam vents in the caldera over time.
Paleo-Indians believed that the Deity would become angry if they failed to pay attention to the teachings of their forefathers regarding family, nature and survival. If the Deity became enraged, the volcano would erupt and every living thing for miles around would be killed. They tried to appease the Deity through sacrifice.
Ancient man had great respect for Birds and Flying Reptiles
Because they could fly to get food and fly away from danger.
3. THE NEST
The nest is always shown as a recessed or carved out area. If you look closely, the nest has babies in it. The easiest way to identify the nest is to look for a baby bird peeking out of it.
The baby bird peeping out of the nest symbolically represents that offspring may want to leave home before they are capable of fending for themselves.
4. MOTHER FEEDING THE SCREAMING BABY
Most of us have seen pictures of a mother bird feeding its young in the nest. In this theme, the mother is always shown with an elongated neck that is slightly bent downward so that she can feed the screaming baby bird.
It is easier to locate the screaming baby bird than the neck of the mother bird. The screaming baby is often in the shape of a "C". Immediately below are examples of how the mother and screaming baby appear.
The Mother Feeding the Baby theme symbolically represents the care that parents must provide to offspring who are incapable of caring for themselves.
5. SNAKE EATING THE RABBIT
All creatures need to eat and in this situation the small snake mouth opens wide enough to swallow the rabbit.
One piece shows this perfectly!
The Snake Eating the Rabbit symbolically represents that a smaller opponent can defeat a larger opponent. Today, we might consider this the story of David vs. Goliath.
6. THE PENIS AND THE VAGINA
Ancient man had a good understanding of how babies are made! The penis and vagina are part of the fertility theme and are clearly visible on all pieces.
Immediately below is how the Penis and Vagina themes appear on pieces.