Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Poverty Point Inspired.....


So one of our newest designs for Spring/Summer is our Arrowhead tee and tank. It is inspired from the Poverty Point inhabitants that lived in Northern Louisiana in the Epps/Pioneer area.  This was all kind of confusing to me-maybe the blonde was coming out??--I had aways thought Poverty Point was in Delhi, LA?!?! But,  no, you actually just take the Delhi exit off I-20 to get there.
The historic site seems to be in Epps, but it has a Pioneer mailing address. I had a running coach back in high school named Gary Stringer who was really into this place and would talk about it, and I remember visiting the site in 1997 with Michelle Bradford, Kelly Milam and an old cowboy named Stanley Jones. That is another story for another day though.  (hahah) Other than that, that was the extent of it.

Why is it, that when you go on vacation, you take the time to visit significant landmarks of that town, but visiting places in your own backyard don't really happen??? hmmmmm Crazy, because this place is actually listed on the World Heritage Site (like the Pyramids!!)

   How did we come to want to do a design about this you ask?? Well, Brent had actually made me a list of ideas back in Feb for possible designs and "arrowhead" was on it. And, at the same time, I had taken an art teaching job this past Aug and one of my new co-workers, Philip Peyton, was an avid arrowhead collector. Who knew?! Here he is below.

I had seen some of his display cases
at the office that were filled with artifacts he had collected through the years from his Grandfathers private land in Pioneer.. He grew up playing in the fields and finding all of these cool treasures~What a neat childhood!
    So, I literally drew three of his real life Poverty Point artifacts for our tee. He brought them to work one Friday and I got to sketching.
This is a photograph of the shirt with the real ones right beside it~
The first yellowish looking one is a longer arrowhead called a Motley, and the second is a shorter , reddish, fatter one called a "Delhi". The last is a blackish polished piece of magnetite called a "Plummet".  These plummets were used for weights for fishing.
  First off, this area was named Poverty Point after an old plantation ~ Poverty Point Plantation which was established in 1850. The people of Poverty Point were hunters and gatherers. This was a prime location for killing animals and fish. The land is surrounded by Bayou Macon which was perfect for catching fish and transportation.

Back then (and we are talking about 1600 B.C.), Bayou Macon was connected to the Mississippi River. The Indians could travel great distances uses these water ways.
(On a side note, they think that there was a massive flood that came around 1100 BC and caused the site to of been abandoned. )

The only thing lacking in this spot, was the availability of rock for making weapons. Here they were surrounded by all of these wild animals, but nothing to kill them with. So, they would trade with people up in the areas of the Appalachian and Ouachita Mountains to get rock to make their arrowheads and plummets. It is amazing to me to think of the distance these people traveled. Can you imagine traveling by foot and water to Kentucky to trade for a rock?
   Here is a layout of the whole area.
It is comprised of 6 semi circular ridges surrounding the plaza area.
The thought was that the people lived on top of these ridges. As time has gone by, these ridges have gotten flatter. In some spots, the height is only 2 to 3 feet high. The ridges are considered to be in pretty good shape considering they have been plowed and had farming activity on top of them over the past 100 years. People back then just didn't have a clue- We laughed that they probably got really irritated over all the arrowheads getting in the way of their plowing and planting.   The best way to really see this is from a plane. I had a hard time seeing it from the truck and the grass was a little high too. The area also consists of mounds that the indians built by hand.
The tallest mound (Mound A) is now 72 feet high. Steps leading up to top.
Me at the top- and yes- I am a dork! I wore my Arrowhead tee!!

They think it was closer to 100 feet high back when it was first built. The entire mound is in the shape of a bird in flight. It is unknown if this was their intent, but birds are commonly represented in Poverty Point artifacts.  Check out this owl carving down below in the photograph.
Here is a drawing of one of them.

There are a total of 25 Bird Pendants found so far in the area.
  Other neat carvings we saw at the museum were of faces and of women's torsos.
 The thought is that maybe these represented a woman's fertility.
  Big thank you to Philip for showing me around Poverty Point on his day off during spring break.
It was so nice to do something different and actually learn something!! The outing was complete with some fried chicken and fried squash

at Cindy Kay's in Oak Grove!! Yum!! On a side note- I saw a TON of Beautiful purple blooming Wisteria....another shirt idea???
   Our Arrowhead tees are available in S-XXL.
They run true to size for women but men may need to go up a size.. Very soft. The tanks are unisex  S-XL, $32.
They have large arm holes so you need to have a tank on underneath. The girls at Ksera put this look together with Joe's jean shorts and Free bird sandals on their IG page. I also love this look on Megan in the tank with a leather skirt... Who knew arrowheads could look so sexy?!?! ;)
 We also have a few of these cool light weight long sleeves left
S-XL, $38 each. 
These can all be ordered online at www.mrpstees.com.  We also have some available at Ksera in West Monroe, LA, at Rodeo in Ruston, LA and at Arrangements Limited in Tallulah, LA.

Thanks for reading- Hope you enjoyed the cliff note history lesson of the place :)

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