The shape of mounds – What does it mean?
Since the first time that effigy mounds were brought to the attention of the public in 1838, there has been controversy over what the shapes of mounds mean. Despite the fact that linear embankments and hemispherical mounds do not appear to be effigies in the general sense of the word, they also have been brought into the debate as well. Richard Taylor was the first to publish an account of effigy mounds in Wisconsin. He concluded that the animal-shaped mounds were representative of the clan emblems that some Indian peoples used to identify themselves. A clan is a social group that claims a single common ancestor. Tribal societies in Wisconsin used the clan system to structure their society. For example, clan affiliation determines who can marry whom; what group of people is responsible for enforcing tribal law; how people receive names; and who conducts certain ceremonies. In other words, it provides order and direction in many social and political settings. Among the Ho-Chunk, clans h