, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 362-378
Date: 07 Oct 2008

Bundled Worlds: The Roles and Interactions of Complex Objects from the North American Plains

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Abstract

This paper explores the many dimensions of power exercised by ceremonial bundles that have been held by North American Plains groups since time immemorial. Because bundles are multifarious but strictly ordered sets of objects, they embody the corpus of ecological and cosmological knowledge needed to survive in the human and supernatural worlds. Bundles, like persons, are subject to hierarchical and heterarchical power relations that parallel societal relations within tribal groups. Observations are drawn about the value of studying complex objects such as bundles for expanding and refining archaeological systematics.