Temixwten Artifact: 45-WH-5-1491
Description: THIS BOLD pocket blade features the basic duality found on many Temixwten blades: the dragon / horse and the One-Eyed God.
One Side 1 a bridled Chinese dragon is curving around the side of the piece to form the lower jaw of a larger bridled dragon / horse. Other bridled Asian horses are visible in Temixwten artifacts 45-WH-5-1491 and 45-WH-5-1476.
As with 45-WH-5-1556, this horse's bridle here appears to be a complex net of heavy Chinese macrame. It may have one or two soft metal rings, but like most of the Asian horse blades from Temixwten, it lacks a bit -- and therefore controls the horse via an archaic upper lip band.
The Chinese dragon curving around from the left side in the upper photo is bridled too. So as with the Pig Dragon before, the power of the Serpent god and the power of the domesticated horse merged, as did their iconography.
Another example of a bridled Chinese dragon can be seen in 45-WH-5-1476.
The One-Eyed God is shown on Side 2 with a full beard, as he is on many artifacts from Temixwten.
This piece is both a charm and a utilitarian pocket blade with three cutting edges. Although chipped, the blade is still sharp.
Technology: Chiseling, sculpting
Approximate Age: 6,000 years years ago, or contemporary with the so-called Charles or St. Mungo Culture Phase, which marks the beginning of the Salish explosion across much of what we now call the Pacific Northwest.
Basis for Age Estimate: I base this age estimate on the appearance of both the Chinese dragon and the domesticated horse with a bitless bridle on this piece. Since the big wave of horse domestication occurred in Northeast Asia about 7,000 year ago, and the bit appeared there about 5,600 years ago, this piece must date from the approximately 1,400 year period in between.
Provenance: Collected at Temixwten by the property owner. Museum of the Salish Collection.
Same Motif: this Neolithic Hongshan Culture Pig Dragon pendant from the Shatzman Collection at Cornell University’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art shows the same motif seen on Temixwten artifacts like 45-WH-5-1491 and 45-WH-5-1655, where the head and curving neck of a smaller dragon form the eye socket of the larger figure.
Full Caucasian Beard: the One-Eyed God is shown with a full beard here, as he is on many artifacts from Temixwten.