Mississippian Spider Woman Gorget Bag


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Spider Woman, known as Ko-Kyang Wuhti, is the Mother Earth, the creatress of all, who brought everything into being by her thoughts. As the Creative Thought Woman, she is known as Tsityostinako (Sussistinnako). In the Grandmother aspect, Spider Woman is called Gogyeng Sowuhti. She is small and disappearing like the Old Ones. Her voice is full of the wisdom of the ages. Spider Woman is a bridge for the transmission of wisdom and knowledge, the Elderly Mother of great wisdom and guardian of the earth. Sometimes, in Native American culture, Spider Woman is depicted as a spider, or simply by her web.

Spider Woman wove the great blanket of earth and created the 4 cardinal points. From the 4 colors of clay she created the people, red, yellow, black/brown and white. She taught the people weaving and pottery. In their weavings, they were taught by Spider Woman to make various designs, which were accompanied by teaching songs, a sort of woven/written literature. The weavers were instructed to leave an opening for the home of Spider Woman.

Shell engraved gorget worn around the neck was created by the Mississippian Native American Culture, which existed from 900-1650 CE. This particular gorget, featured on the right, is carved from a marine shell from the south Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico coast.

The Mississippian culture spanned from the Mid-Eastern, Eastern and South Eastern portions of the United States. The culture takes it name from the Mississippi River.