Gender, anatomical knowledge, and pottery production: Implications of an anatomically unusual birth depicted on mimbres pottery from southwestern New Mexico

Michelle Hegmon, Wenda R. Trevathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The anatomical details of a birth scene depicted on Classic Mimbres (A.D. 1000-1150) bowls from southwestern New Mexico can provide clues to gender relations in Classic Mimbres society. The scenes show an infant emerging facing forward (unusual in human birth) with its arms up (virtually unknown in human birth). These details suggest that the scene was painted by someone unfamiliar with the birthing process. Ethnographically, men rarely see human births. Thus, it is likely that the birth scene, and perhaps other Mimbres pottery designs, were painted by men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)747-754
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Antiquity
Volume61
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Museology

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