The Lotus Connection

I was at a local TEDx event this weekend and it got me to thinking about connections … and links … and time.  I gave a brief talk about my ancient mound project and in it I mentioned our ancient timeline where different civilizations occupy the land then pass it along to future generations.  But it wasn’t until this morning that I remembered a good illustration of my connection to the Poverty Point culture that I wasn’t even aware of until just now.

In the wonderful collection of artifacts at Poverty Point is an object that looks like the receptacle of a lotus flower, the female part in the center.  It is made out of clay and has small round holes punched into the surface.

In August of 2006 I took this photograph of a lotus flower at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge near Monroe.

It gets handed down, this being connected to our surroundings and trying to interpret them or share them or just record them.  Lotus flowers were integrated into the cultures of the ancient Egyptians and early Hindus also.  I read that lotus imagery began to show up in India around the third century BC which was also when there was clear evidence of contact between Egypt and India.

But there was no contact between Poverty Point and Egypt and India (that I know of) and no contact between me and any of them when I took my photo.  But there is contact between all of us and our environments and that’s what we share.  And it’s good to know that in our hermetically sealed, air-conditioned, technology driven world that we continue to use the tools of the day to reflect on some of the same aspects of the natural world as cultures from thousands of years ago.

About Jenny Ellerbe

I am a photographer living, and working, in northeastern Louisiana.
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7 Responses to The Lotus Connection

  1. Kelby says:

    Seems to be an example of a multi-cultural, convergent attraction to a similar element in the natural world.

  2. Great material! I worked with another b & w photographer a few years ago on some earthwork sites, including PP. See –

  3. Robert,

    Thanks for the link to Suzanne’s photography. It is really beautiful. Readers of this blog … go check it out!

  4. Great post. I attended archaeology field school at poverty point last summer. Amazing site! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Jenny, you amaze me. Your images have a way of connecting to some deep part of our brains. I’m not a bit surprised that they also connect to the images of ancient peoples’ traditions, culture. This particular shape has long held a fascination for me–thank you for highlighting it. I think we’re all much more connected to one another than we usually realize, over distance and time–but then you obviously know that and do such a great job of expressing it.

  6. Ann, wow, thanks so much. When I first started this blog I thought I would just use it as a vehicle to display some photographs. But it has become more than that, at least to me. And the connections I am making because of it really make it worthwhile.

  7. Linda Denton says:

    I love this blog about connections. It makes me think of synchronicity and of the Celestine works.
    Also I think of patterns and repetitions of patterns. And of parallel universes made of different choices like the book by Richard Bach. Wow…see all the connections I have made?

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