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Lightning Whelks and the Calusa
Location: 3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road Sanibel, FL 33957

William Marquardt will present a lecture at the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum on Sanibel Island at 2 PM on February 8, 2012. His talk is entitled, "The Practical and Spiritual Significance of the Lightning Whelk."

The lightning whelk (Busycon perversum sinistrum) was of central importance to southwest Florida’s Calusa Indian people. Dr. Marquardt will briefly discuss the biology and taxonomy of the animal. Then, illustrating his talk with artifacts and specimens, he will show how southwest Florida Indian people made practical use of the lightning whelk for more than 6,000 years. He will also discuss the spiritual significance of the lightning whelk in the cosmology and religious practices of southeastern U.S. Native Americans.

Dr. Marquardt is Curator of South Florida Archaeology and Ethnography, Florida Museum of Natural History, and Director of the Randell Research Center at Pineland.

For more information, call the Shell Museum at 239-395-2233.


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