Red Horn (Siouan Deity) - Red Horn in Archaeology - The Gottschall Pictographs

The Gottschall Pictographs

Gottschall Rockshelter (a horizontally shallow cave), located in Muscoda, Wisconsin, contains about forty pictographs. Robert J. Salzer began to excavate the site in 1982, eight years after it had been rediscovered. He identified Panel 5 to be of special interest, since it is a composition containing several figures that seem to be engaged in a single action. Panel 5 is dated with a good measure of confidence to the tenth century A.D. At the outset, Robert L. Hall, the leader in the field, pointed out to Selzer that one of the figures in Panel 5 appeared to have attributes associated with the Red Horn mythology.

The character in your Fig. 4 has a pattern around each nipple which resembles the long-nose god maskettes. The face of the maskettes are of the same outline as that found around each nipple on the pictograph. I first interpreted the two parallel lines above the "face" outline as the red horn. I now feel that they represent the long nose of the long-nosed god in a face-on perspective which the artists could not quite handle. That leaves the nipples for the mouth and tongue, and remember that the little faces stuck out their tongues when manipulated. The stone Big Boy pipe from Spiro had long-nose god maskettes on each ear, and I would guess that is what Red Horn also wore on his ears and was the reason he was called He-who-wears-human-heads-as-earrings.

Salzer identified the other figures as being two giants, one of whom was the woman that eventually married Red Horn, and other pictographs seemed to be of Turtle and Storms-as-He-Walks, all of whom had gathered together on the occasion of the great lacrosse game between the good spirits and the giants. Salzer believes, contrary to Hall, that the figure to the far right is not a son of Red Horn, but Red Horn himself. The reason why we do not see prosopic earpieces is that part of the tail of the bird in the center of the panel has been painted over Red Horn's ears. Most archaeologists have accepted the idea that the panel is devoted to Red Horn mythology, although a few others have been highly skeptical.

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