Mimbres Burial & Shamanic Practices

Urn Burial Schematic

It is believed that the Mimbres punched holes
in the pots prior to burial in order to "kill"
the pots to release the spirits of the decoration.

In Tibet there were practitioners who, even though they were not renowned for their practice, had special power to effect the phowa, and the signs would readily appear. There are various signs in the dying person of a successful phowa carried out by a practitioner. Sometimes a bunch of hair falls out near the fontanel, or a warmth or vapor is felt or seen to rise from the crown of the head. In some exceptional cases, the masters or practitioners have been so powerful that when they uttered the syllable that affects the transference, everyone in the room would faint, or a piece of bone would fly off the dead person's skull as the consciousness was propelled out with immense force.8  

from The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
by Sogyal Rinpoche, page 235

I believe that the hole was punched in the pot to allow the consciousness to be released
through the hole. In some cases, the hole may have been made by the consciousness leaving the persons head.

Powamu Ceremony
The Pawamu "Bean Planting" ceremony, in my opinion, is analogous to the Tibetan Phowa ceremony, and reinforces my theory on the Mimbres burial practice.
The beans crack open, the life force energy is released, and the bean husk or shell is discarded!
Hopi kachinas of the Powamu or "Bean Planting" ceremony 1893
From: North American Indians, By: Norman Bancroft-Hunt, page 13

   The Hopi Prophesy...suggests a way out of our present tragic dilemma. Long, long ago when the Third World became evil and sterile, preparations were made for mankind's Emergence to a new Fourth World. The people were told simply to keep open the kopavi at the crown of the head. Through this "open door" to the Creator they would receive guidance to the shore of their new world and then to their homeland during their fourfold continental migrations.
   So it was they were led by the voice of their guardian spirit, by Kachinas [helping spirits], by a star -- by all the voices, shapes, and symbols through which intuition speaks to our inner selves.
   Today, says Hopi prophesy, mankind is ready for an Emergence to a new Fifth World. Once again we must strive to keep open the door. Through it we will hear a new voice, glimpse a new star to follow. (Waters 1969, p. 71f.)

from The Voice of the Great Spirit
by Rudolf Kaiser, page 120

I feel that this is also shows a connection with the Tibetan beliefs.

*Shamanic Practices
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