TUBULAR PIPES

 

A

B

C

(A) A red stone tubular pipe from an Archaic burial in Limestone County, Alabama (B) A ceramic tubular pipe belonging to the Refuge ceramic type. (C) Tubular pipe of limestone recovered from site JAv176A

 

The tube pipe occurs primarily during the Late Archaic and Early Woodland to early Middle Woodland periods. Emma Fundaburk (Sun Circles and Human Hands) sited one Archaic burial of a thirteen year old girl with a Tub pipe (A) under her arm that was excavated in Limestone County, Alabama. The pipe was made from a soft, red stone.  The center Tubular pipe (B) has all three Refuge decorative patterns of simple stamping, incising and punctation and was tempered with sand and grit, typical of Refuge pottery in Georgia. The decoration on the pipe suggests that it was made by a potter that was probably a woman. The pipe was plowed up in Burke County, Georgia and brought to an artifact ID day in Augusta. It is perhaps the earliest form of ceramic pipe in existence. Bennie Keel also recovered two ceramic tubular pipes from the Swannanoa phase of the Warren Wilson site in Buncombe County, North Carolina. The tubular pipe of limestone (C) was recovered from site JAv176A, a large village site along the Tennessee River in Jackson County Alabama. The pipe was not associated with a burial, but was found with an elbow pipe made of fine-grained sandstone. The site also contained Mulberry Creek and Flint Creek pottery dating to the Early and Middle Woodland period.

Lyman O. Wyman studied the use of tobacco and pipes along the shell "fields" of the St. Johns River in Florida during the mid 1800's, but had recovered no pipes during his research.  C.B. Moore continued Wyman's search over a four year period and had recovered just five pipes, four broken and one whole tube pipe (above). Those examples came from the Mulberry Midden, a much younger midden (possibly Early Woodland) than the older Orange period St. Johns middens. Moore concluded that the use of tobacco was unknown to the builders of the earlier middens while the builders of the later Mulberry Midden used tobacco with a tube form of pipe.

 

One variation of the tubular pipe is the Adena Blocked End tubular pipe, reported by Billie Ford of Spencerville, Ohio in Vol. 58, No.2 of the Central States Journal. He stated that Donald Gehlbach, in his book, Ohio’s Prehistoric Pipes, believes this type to a refined form of what he called a Trumpet pipe dating to the late Adena period between 01 and 300 A.D. Similar pipes have been found with a small stone in them, presumably for filtering the smoked substance.

 

This modified Adena tubular pipe appeared in volume 58 of the Central States Journal in 2011.

Examples of this type are made of sandstone.This pipe was recovered by Junior Burkhart in Madison County, Kentucky during the construction of Lake Reba recreational complex in 1987.This is among the rarest of the Adena pipe forms.  C.B. Moore recovered a very similar pipe from a mound near Green Point in Franklin County, Florida.  The mound contained Swift Creek and early Weeden Island Incised pottery that dated to the Middle Woodland period.

 

A

B

This pair of steatite pipes are from the collection of the late Dr. Cramer of Gray, Georgia. They were recovered from a Middle Woodland site in Houston County, Georgia that contained primarily Deptford and Swift Creek pottery. It is difficult to determine whether these were intended as tobacco pipes or medicine tubes, but their conical shape may suggest the former. Example A is plain while pipe B is highly incised.


A more recent form of tubular pipe was recovered by C.B. Moore from a mound near Crystal River. The mound contained Franklin Plain, Weeden Island and Crystal River pottery as well as a square elbow pipe of steatite. The pipe was rather crudely made and incised.

 

 

One unusual example of a tubular pipe from the Middle Mississippian period was recovered in southwestern Georgia and is now in the collection of Kevin Dowdy. The pipe is made of steatite and was recovered with other ceremonial materials representing the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex.

 

FUR TRADE TOMAHAWK PIPES


 

The tomahawk peace pipe pictured above (top) was presented to Thomas Worthington by Tecumseh in 1807 when he visited Worthington at Adena, Tecumseh’s Chillicothe home. The tomahawk is made of forged metal and the wooden handle is decorated with engraved silver inlay. The Shawnees lived in a region that included Ohio before being relocated to the west in 1831. Tecumseh fought in several minor skirmishes and in the Battle of Fallen Timbers. He refused to sign the Treaty of Greenville in 1795 and was later killed in the Battle of the Thames in 1813 where he sided with the British in hopes of gaining lost Indian lands. The tomahawk pipe is on loan from the Ohio History Connection to the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma where it will be on display at the Indigo Sky Hotel and Casino in Wyandotte, Oklahoma for one year.  The axe pictured at the bottom was given to Tecumseh by the British for his alliance during the war of 1812.  You can magnify the view to read the inscription.


 

The tomahawk on the left is from a Powhatan village in Pennsylvania. The tomahawk on the right was traded to the Indians by the Hudson Bay Company and is sometimes referred to as a frontiersman’s axe.

The tomahawk, also referred to as a hawk, is a type of axe from North America, traditionally resembling a hatchet with a straight shaft. The name came into the English language during the 1600’s as an adaptation of the Powhatan word tamahaac, meaning “to cut off by tool.” They were a general purpose tool used by Indians and European colonialists alike as a hand-to-hand weapon that could also be thrown. The axe head was originally based on a Royal Navy boarding axe and used as a trade-item with the Indians to secure food and other provisions. The tomahawk began to be traded to Native Americans between 1750 and 1850. Tomahawks were made for trade by the American colonists and gunsmiths like John Small (1790-1820) and Squire Boone, the brother of famed Daniel Boone, about 1780.


 

The peace pipe tomahawk to the right was used by the French and traded to the Indians during the Fur Trade era. Those with a raised pipe bowl on a pedestal date to the mid 1700’s. The design of the tomahawk to the right is unique in that it has a dove-tailed bit and dates to 1850.


 

The tomahawk at the top is referred to as a Spontoon type that dates to about 1875 and occurs primarily in sites within the western plains region. The tomahawk at the bottom is a rarer spike form that dates to the 1830’s.

The modern tomahawk shaft is usually less than 2 feet in length, traditionally made of hickory, ash, or maple. The heads weigh anywhere from 9–20 ounces with a cutting edge usually not much longer than four inches from toe to heel. The poll can feature a small hammer, spike or simply be rounded off, and they usually do not have lugs. These sometimes had a pipe-bowl carved into the poll, and a hole drilled down the center of the shaft for smoking tobacco through the tomahawk. There was a clean-out plug at the head end of the pipe. There are also metal-headed versions of this unusual pipe. Pipe tomahawks are artifacts unique to North America: created by Europeans as trade objects but often exchanged as diplomatic gifts. They were symbols of the choice Europeans and Native Americans faced whenever they met: one end was the pipe of peace, the other an axe of war.


 

This is a French-made francisca type tomahawk the appears primarily in the French controlled Northeast Fur Trade areas (note pedestalled pipe bowl).

In colonial French territory, a very different tomahawk design, closer to the ancient European francisca, a throwing axe used as a weapon during Middle Ages by the Franks. In the late 18th century, the British Army issued tomahawks to their colonial regulars during the American Revolutionary War as a weapon and tool.

 

STONE PIPES

AND THE HISTORY OF TOBACCO IN THE AMERICAS

 

These steatite pipes are probably among the oldest in North America.  The broken pipe on the right illustrates the drilling pattern for these pipes.  A reed would have been inserted as a stem for smoking.

 

Huron Indian myth has it that in ancient times, when the land was barren and the people were starving, the Great Spirit sent forth a woman to save humanity. As she traveled over the world, everywhere her right hand touched the soil, there grew potatoes. And everywhere her left hand touched the soil, there grew corn. And when the world was rich and fertile, she sat down and rested. When she arose, there grew tobacco.

 

 

In 2010, tobacco was found that dates to the Pleistocene Era 2.5 million years ago. Paleontologists from the Meyer-Honninger Paleontology Museum discovered the small block of fossilised tobacco in the Maranon river basin in northeastern Peru.

 

 

As far as human use of tobacco, although small amounts of nicotine may be found in some Old World plants, including belladonna and Nicotiana africana, and nicotine metabolites have been found in human remains and pipes in the Near East and Africa, there is no indication of habitual tobacco use in the Ancient world, on any continent save the Americas.

 

 

Experts believe the tobacco plant, as we know it today, began growing in the Americas by 6000 BCE and quickly spread to nearly every part of the Americas. By 1 BCE American inhabitants began finding ways to use tobacco, including smoking in a number of variations, chewing and in probably hallucinogenic enemas.

 

 

Between 470 and 630 A.D. the Mayas began to scatter, some moving as far as the Mississippi Valley. The Toltecs, who created the mighty Aztec Empire, borrowed the smoking custom from the Mayas who remained behind. Two castes of smokers emerged among them. Those in the Court of Montezuma, who mingled tobacco with the resin of other leaves and smoked pipes with great ceremony after their evening meal; and the lesser Indians, who rolled tobacco leaves together to form a crude cigar. The Mayas who settled in the Mississippi Valley spread their custom to the neighboring tribes.

The American Indians later adapted tobacco smoking to their own religion, believing that their god revealed himself in the rising smoke. And, as in Central America, a complex system of religious and political rites was developed that incorporated the use of  tobacco during the Mississippian period.

 

Many of the pipes used in the ceremonial life of Mississippian cultures were also made of steatite.  This pipe measures nearly 2 feet long and is made of steatite.  It was exposed after a flood in Decatur County, Georgia.

 


Many of Georgia's ceremonial centers were symbolized by birds of pray.  This steatite ceremonial pipe from Georgia's Ocmulgee National Monument near Macon, Georgia dates to the Middle Mississippian period.  The floor of the site's counsel house is shaped into this same figure.

This canine effigy pipe was recovered while digging a building foundation in Floyd, Georgia in 1911.  It is probably Early to Middle Mississippian dating between 1000 and 1250 A.D.  The eye sockets suggest that pearls may have been cemented into the eyes.

 

In the western slope of the Coteau des Prairie in southwestern Minnesota are quarries of a unique soft stone, ranging in color from mottled pink to brick red, that is considered sacred to the Plains Indians. This is the site of Pipestone National Monument.


©National Park Service
At Pipestone National Monument, Plains Indians once quarried stone for carving.

According to Indian legend, the people of the Plains were made from the stone. Sioux, Crow, Blackfoot, and Pawnee people carved ceremonial pipes from the substance to communicate with the spiritual world. But they also used the pipes to connect with other tribes -- and whites -- through trade.

 

Plains Indians probably began digging at this quarry in the seventeenth century, when they acquired metal tools from European traders. The durable yet soft stone was perfect for carving, and this location was apparently the best source for pipestone. The quarries were used by tribes across the prairie, though by about 1700 the Dakota Sioux controlled the quarries, and other tribes had to trade for the pipestone. Archaeologists have discovered pipestone pipes thousands of miles from this area.

 

Pipestone pipes like this one are still being made by American Indian craftsmen.

 

Plains Indians smoked tobacco in these red clay pipes to mark important activities, such as preparing for war, trading goods and hostages, and ritual dancing. The pipes and tobacco were stored in animal-skin pouches with other sacred objects, and even the ashes were disposed of in special places. Pipes were valued possessions and were often buried with the dead.

 

Pipestone pipes were carved in a variety of shapes, and their evolution parallels the Plains Indian culture in transition. The simple tube shape of earlier carvers developed into elbow and disk forms and more elaborate animal and human effigies. The T-shaped calumets, a popular form, were widely known as "peace pipes" because they were the pipes white Americans usually saw at peace ceremonies. Effigies in the shape of white politicians and explorers, some far from flattering, attest to the Plains Indians' increasing contact with whites.

 

The Sioux lost control of the pipestone quarries in 1928. Pipestone National Monument was created in 1937 and opened to the public, though only Indians are allowed to mine the sacred stone. Fall is the best time to see this ancient tradition taking place.

 

"At an ancient time, the Great Spirit, in the form of a large bird, stood upon the wall of rock and called all the tribes around him, and breaking out a piece of the red stone formed it into a pipe and smoked it, the smoke rolling over the whole multitude. He then told his red children that this red stone was their flesh, that they were made from it, that they must all smoke to him through it, that they must use it for nothing but pipes: and as it belonged alike to all the tribes, the ground was sacred, and no weapons must be used or brought upon it."

-- Sioux account of the origin of the pipestone, as recorded by George Catlin, 1836

 

 

THE HISTORY OF TOBACCO PIPES

 

AND THEIR USE

 

AMONG NATIVE AMERICANS

 

 

 

Harry Behn in a "peace pipe" ceremony with Black Foot Indians

 

"Calumet" is a Norman word that was first recorded in David Ferrand’s la Muse normande around 1625–1655. Its first meaning was "sort of reeds used to make pipes", with a suffix substitution for calumel. It corresponds to the French word chalumeau 'reeds', which, in modern French also means 'straw' or 'blowlamp'. Later the word was used by Norman-French settlers in Canada to describe the ceremonial pipes they saw in use among the First Nations people of the region.

 

There is in the country an herb which they call tabaco, which is a kind of plant, the stalk of which is as tall as the chest of a man....and they sow this herb and they keep the seed which it produces to sow the next year and they cure it carefully for the purpose of securing predictions.” From The first to mention ‘tobaco’: Oviedo y Valdés on Venezuela

 

 CEREMONIAL PIPE USE

 

Calumets and other Native American ceremonial pipes have often been given the misnomer "peace pipe"; this is a European construct based on only one type of pipe and one way it was used. Various types of ceremonial pipes have been used by multiple Native American cultures, with the style of pipe, materials smoked, and ceremonies being unique to the distinct religions of those nations. John Walthall notes that pipes are rarely recovered from camp sites, but are almost always carefully placed in burials, indicating their significance in ceremonial life. There were Calumets for everything from war and peace to commerce and trade to social and political decision-making. During his travels down the Mississippi River in 1673 Father Jacques Marquette documented the universal respect that the ceremonial "peace pipe" was shown across all native peoples he encountered, even those at war with each other. He claimed that presenting the pipe during battle would actually halt the fighting. It was for this reason that the Illinois people gave Marquette such a pipe as a gift to assure his safe travel through the interior of the land.

 

There is little evidence that pre-Columbian Native Americans suffered from addiction to smoking tobacco. Only the medicine-men were daily users of tobacco for healing rituals and for communicating with Spirit. Pipe-keepers were required to be of the highest character and moral standards. Tobacco was smoked during official functions such as tribal councils, and when guests visited the lodge. When hunting parties from neighboring tribes met each other in the field, the pipe was smoked among them to demonstrate peaceful intentions. A warrior seeking vision would pack his bowl with a special smoking mixture supplied by the medicine elder and then carry his pipe into the wilderness to pray for up to four days. During this time he would not drink or eat or smoke but concentrate his full attention on ‘crying-for-a-vision’. Only upon returning to the sweat lodge and relating his experiences to the medicine elder was the pipe smoked in contemplation.

 

In ceremonial usage, the smoke is believed to carry prayers to the attention of the Creator or other powerful spirits. Lakota tradition has it that White Buffalo Calf Woman, brought the Chanunpa to the people, and instructed them in its symbolism and ceremonies. Most Indian peoples also felt that smoking together helped to create a spirit of congeniality and cooperation. "See our smoke has now filled the room," said a Delaware Indian from Oklahoma named Jesse Moses to the anthropologist Frank Speck. "First it was in streaks and your smoke and my smoke moved about that way, but now it is all mixed up into one. That is like our minds and spirit too, when we must talk. We are now ready, for we will understand one another better." The Cherokee consider these offerings to be contracts with the helper spirits that carry our prayers to Creator. Gifting tobacco is a way of showing respect and giving thanks. Above all, tobacco is medicine. It is used in healing ceremonies, teas, poultices, and to pray for good health.

 


 

According to oral traditions, and amply illustrated by pre-contact pipes in museums and tribal and private holdings, some ceremonial pipes are adorned with feathers, fur, human or animal hair, beadwork, quills, carvings or other items having significance for the owner. Other pipes are very simple. Many are not kept by an individual, but are instead held collectively by a medicine society or similar ceremonial organization.

 

The tobacco, or Nicotiana rustica (French), used in Native American pipes was used sparingly and was often mixed with other organic material such as herbs, barks, and plant matter, most often called Kinnikinnick, a Delaware word for the organic mixture. The most popular mixture of this type included tobacco, sumac leaves and dogwood bark. The making of Tobacco is a most sacred aspect of tobacco ceremony. Tobacco leaves are selected, ordered with moisture and cut and blended with herbs to make fragrant smoking mixtures. Each pipe carrier’s mixture is uniquely based on their family’s traditions.

  

 

This shell-tempered, fingernail decorated clay pipe, sometimes called a council pipe, was recovered in Kingston, Tennessee and is part of the Claude Mason collection at the St. Joseph’s museum.

 

Some northern Sioux people used long, stemmed pipes for ceremonies while others such as the Catawba in the southeast used ceremonial pipes formed as round, footed bowls with a tubular smoke tip projecting from each cardinal direction on the bowl. This is a very rare form of pipe with very few examples in existence.

 

THE ORIGIN OF TOBACCO SMOKING

 

 Observing that corn beans and squash grow well together by fertilizing and protecting each other, these diet staples became the ‘Three Sisters’ our Sustainers(pictured right). Buffalo Calf Woman changed herself from a buffalo into a woman and brought the Sacred Pipe Ceremony to the Lakota People. This First Pipe is still kept and revered by the People on Pine Ridge Reservation SD. Through these stories, Native Americans developed a personal relationship with the natural world and better understood its benefits and dangers.

 

Huron Indian myth has it that in ancient times, when the land was barren and the people were starving, the Great Spirit sent forth a woman to save humanity. As she traveled over the world, everywhere her right hand touched the soil, there grew potatoes. And everywhere her left hand touched the soil, there grew corn. And when the world was rich and fertile, she sat down and rested. When she arose, there grew tobacco.

 

In 2010, tobacco was found that dates to the Pleistocene Era. Paleontologists from the Meyer-Honninger Paleontology Museum discovered the small block of fossilized tobacco in the Maranon river basin in northeastern Peru. As far as human use of tobacco is concerned, although small amounts of nicotine may be found in some Old World plants, including belladonna and Nicotiana africana, nicotine metabolites have been found in human remains and pipes in the Near East and Africa, but there is no indication of habitual tobacco use in the Ancient world, on any continent before the colonial Americas.

 

The history of tobacco or “Uppa-woc”, Native America’s most sacred plant begins with its cultivation along with squash and beans around 5000 BC. By 200 BC the Hopewell Mound culture demonstrated a sophisticated ceremonial culture based on the discovery of more than two hundred stone effigy tobacco pipes at the Ohio mound site. Native only to the Americas, tobacco was introduced to European explorers and settlers by the American Indian tribesman who greeted them. Their first gifts to Columbus and later to the settlers at Jamestown included tobacco.

 

Between 470 and 630 A.D. the Mayas began to scatter, some moving as far as the Mississippi Valley. Two castes of smokers emerged among them. Those in the Court of Montezuma, who mingled tobacco with the resin of other leaves and smoked pipes with great ceremony after their evening meal; and the lesser Indians, who rolled tobacco leaves together to form a crude cigar.

 

Many pre-Columbian tribes-people were adept agriculturalists. They grew food crops to supplant their diet of wild plants and game and to sustain their People during lean times. Without draft animals or iron plows, Native American farming was very labor intensive. The devotion of limited human resources to growing a crop such as tobacco that has no food or fiber value indicates that it was very precious. Among the Yanomamo of Brazil, the word for being poor, (hori), means literally “without tobacco.”

 

Like all farmers, the Native American knew the woes of pests and the havoc that can be raised by them as they eat away at crops.  The effects of the tobacco worm was no less destructive as this pipe suggests.

STONE EFFIGY PIPES

 

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