mon-polydactyly

A unique prehistoric Pueblo culture thrived in the high desert of Chaco Canyon about a thousand years ago. Scientists have known about polydactyly among these people for years, based on images and skeletal remains showing extremities with extra fingers and toes. But past research revealed only hints about its importance to the ancient culture.

Initially intrigued by the divine powers attributed to polydactyls among the Maya, researchers led by anthropologist Patricia Crown of the University of New Mexico conducted a comprehensive review of evidence for the condition at the canyon’s sacred Pueblo Bonito site.
The findings, published today in American Antiquity, indicate that the society did not view six-toed individuals as supernatural, but this form of polydactyly did grant them exalted status in life and in death.

“We found that people with six toes, especially, were common and seemed to be associated with important ritual structures and high-status objects like turquoise,” says Crown, who is also a past National Geographic grantee. –Extra Fingers and Toes Were Revered in Ancient Culture by Aaron Sidder

Fiction Writing Prompt: Create a religion for your world that reveres some physical attribute that few people have. 

Journaling Prompt: What part of your body do you wish you could change?

Art Prompt: Polydactyly

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the Pueblo culture of Chaco Canyon.

Photo Credit: ReSurge International on Flickr

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge