March 20, 2011

The Key Marco Cat

Here's an interesting piece of art I hadn't heard of before:

Marco Island Historical Society Inc.The Marco Island Historical Society was founded in May of 1994. The Society is a 501c3 non-profit, all volunteer, educational group which is dedicated to the investigating and preserving of Marco Island's history and disseminating that information to the public.

The MIHS spearheaded the efforts to bring this most famous Calusa artifact the" Key Marco Cat" to the Collier County Museum for the 1995-96 Cushing Centennial Exhibition. This small wood carving was unearthed in 1896 by Dr. Frank Hamilton Cushing, the foremost American Archeologist of his time. It was found just a few hundred feet from the present Old Marco Inn.

In 1995 the Society sponsored a dig on Marco Island at the site of an ancient Calusa Indian Village. A great deal was learned about these early Island Dwellers during this excavation, directed by Randolph Widmer, associate professor of archaeology at the University of Houston. The Society also arranged for cooperation and assistance of other state and professional groups and local business groups during the project.

You are invited to join us as we seek to study and preserve the rich culture and historical heritage of this island. Visit the the new museum Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. A replica of the Key Marco Cat is displayed among the artifacts in the current exhibits. The original artifact, the panther lion god now called the Key Marco Cat is stored in a Smithsonian Institution warehouse in Suitland, Maryland. The Marco Island Historical Museum is world-class county museum, and the future home, we hope, of the Key Marco Cat. We need all the help we can get to have this treasure be our own!
Comment:  The Key Marco Cat exemplifies the artistic and religious sophistication of prehistoric Indians. It contradicts the notion that Indians were savage and uncivilized.

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