The Creepy Blue Beads

Those creepy blue beads are everywhere. Well okay, not everywhere. But they do appear in both E.B. White poem and the in the scene in Little House. And the, I know it’s not fictional/ literary, but it’s still weird– some of the history books on New Deal archaeology that I’ve been reading have these really long and boring inventories of what gets found in the various mounds, and guess what, there are creepy blue beads in some of those burials. It’s stuff like that which makes me feel like archaeology had to just, I don’t know, be in the air, be in the discourse. Those beads just definitely have this intertextual life as symbols of death or violence. I feel like Wilder was definitely channeling “archaeology feelings” when she wrote the Indian camp scene.


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