It’s a mother-in-law warning device!

guess what this is

Mother-in-law bell
Bells of this type were stamped out of quarters and were common in the 1880’s.  They were worn by men and women during war dances and by an older woman to warn her son-in-law that she was approaching.  Older Navajo believed that a man could become blind if he looked at his mother-in-law.

from display of artifacts
in Far View Visitor Center
Mesa Verde National Park
September 12, 2009

Debo came closest with the guess, “wildlife warning bell,” except that the bell is to warn the wildlife — the son-in-law — instead of warning of the approach of wildlife.

I still don’t know whose blog post I was thinking of when I noticed this artifact in the display.  I deliberately took care to get a good picture so that I could share it with whoever had written the post, but now I can’t find it.

Oh well.

Perhaps it was just a blog comment that I had read somewhere.

Or maybe, just maybe, I’ve been reading blogs in my dreams.


Commentary and images from the road

image and information from September 12, 2009

This post is being simultaneously published on Exit78 and Haw Creek Out ‘n About.


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