“A significant and important study of the interactions and influences of Cahokia with its northern neighbors, featuring the most comprehensive available description of the regionally significant Audrey site in the Lower Illinois Valley.”—Lynne P. Sullivan, coeditor of Mississippian Women
“An interesting and well-written volume that provides much-needed information on the varied ways that hinterland communities adapted their local traditions as a reaction to the influence of Cahokia.”—Scott W. Hammerstedt, coauthor of The Ritual Landscape of the Late Precontact Eastern Oklahoma: Archaeology from the WPA Era Until Today
In this volume, Christina Friberg investigates the influence of Cahokia, the largest city of North America’s Mississippian culture between AD 1050 and 1350, on smaller communities throughout the midcontinent. Using evidence from recent excavations at the Audrey-North site in the Lower Illinois River Valley, Friberg examines the cultural give-and-take Audrey inhabitants experienced between new Cahokian customs and old Woodland ways of life.
Comparing the architecture, pottery, and lithics uncovered here with data from thirty-five other sites across five different regions, Friberg reveals how the social, economic, and political influence of Cahokia shaped the ways Audrey inhabitants negotiated identities and made new traditions. Friberg’s broad interregional analysis also provides evidence that these diverse groups of people were engaged in a network of interaction and exchange outside Cahokia’s control. The Making of Mississippian Tradition offers a fascinating glimpse into the dynamics of cultural exchange in precolonial settlements, and its detailed reconstruction of Audrey society offers a new, more nuanced interpretation of how and why Mississippian lifeways developed.
Christina M. Friberg is postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Indiana University, Bloomington.