It has been interpreted as a visualization of the Yuchi myth of the winds, the four-looped square, or guilloche, is considered by some to be a "whirling sun" motif, or a priestly or chiefly litter; and the ceremonial fire, fed by four logs aligned to cardinal directions.
Small shell cameos, under two inches wide, were found at Spiro Mounds, although dating is difficult in the current archaeological context, these masks are likely to be a later phenomenon (c.
1500-1700): although they are often found in sites that also produce 16th century Spanish trade goods, they are entirely absent from classic mound sites, which were active until the fourteenth century.
Iconography on the shell gorgets comes from the Mississippian Ideological Interaction Sphere.
The spider gorgets illustrate a traditional story, common to many southeastern tribes from the Atlantic Coast to Missouri, about the water spider bringing fire to humanity.
The Holly Oak Gorget or Holly Oak Pendant is an artifact made from a section of shell that is engraved with the image of an extinct woolly mammoth reportedly found in Holly Oak, Delaware and initially identified as an example of Paleoindian art.
Native Americans, art historians, and anthropologists all have a wide range of often conflicting interpretations of the SECC iconography.