SERPENTS. “The serpent/serpent monster motif is widespread throughout the southeastern United States. … The serpent is a creature of ambiguous attributes, both feared and admired by the southeastern Indians. … In mythology, the rattlesnake was the creature that saved mankind from a disease sent by the sun to destroy it; thus one has the serpent in the role of a savior. In a similar role, snakes or snake symbolism are often utilized by the shaman as a shield against sickness and evil; yet the snake also instills fear in man, in both the natural and supernatural states. … Men decorated their bodies with the serpent motif to gather power and to create fear in their enemies.” --Thomas E. Emerson, “Water, Serpents, and the Underworld” [image: snake pot by Georgia Harris]


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