The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is featuring a new exhibit about the Spiro Mounds titled “Spiro and the Art of the Mississippian World.”
This new exhibit, which opened Feb. 12, explores the archeological and historical data connecting the Spiro site to other communities throughout North and Central America, according to the museum’s website.
Faculty from the University of Oklahoma, including Amanda Regnier and Patrick Livingood, as well as other speakers from across the country will be participating in a “Brown Bag Lunch Series” that go into more detail about the Spiro Mounds, the Mississippian people and the discovery of the sites.
In Regnier’s talk, she discussed the looting of Craig Mound and the battle to save the archeological site. Livingood will discuss the creation of the Spirit Lodge and the culmination of traditions in the Arkansas Valley.
The museum exhibit explores different mound sites built by the Mississippian people, including Spiro in Oklahoma, Moundville in Alabama, and Etowah in Georgia. The exhibit details the culture of the Mississippian people and how they “created one of the most highly-developed civilizations in the Americas,” according to the museum’s website.
Regnier, director of the Oklahoma Archeological Survey and consultant for the exhibit, said there are many artifacts that have been brought together for the exhibit.
“What’s so cool about the exhibit is that you get to see these items that were separated at the lootings back together again, and you get an idea of the scale of what was destroyed at Spiro, and what an amazing archeological find it really was,” Regnier said.
Morning! I just can’t get enough of our new “Spiro and the Art of the Mississippian World.” This is called “Spiro” by Dan Townsend, Muscogee, 2017. This recent art on a marine shell was inspired by the ancient art also in this exhibition. Amazing! #HashtagTheCowboy Thanks, Tim pic.twitter.com/OMgKQVLpiQ— Nat'l Cowboy Museum (@ncwhm) March 2, 2021
The entry to the exhibit is filled with artifacts from the Mississippian period, and moving into the second gallery, there are the artifacts from the Spiro, Regnier said.
Regnier said that the gallery is special to her because she gets to see artifacts she has previously only seen in photos.
“Getting to see these artifacts in person is my favorite part of the exhibit, I have never seen these pieces before but have looked at photos of them for a long time,” Regnier said.
More information on the exhibit and a schedule of related events can be found on the museum’s website. The exhibit is open to the public and will be until May 9.