North America, midwestern / southern USA, Middle Woodland period, ca. 200 to 1000 CE. One of the prized possessions of the Woodland period, this is a beautiful example of a dark stone pipe. It has a tall bowl that widens at its upper edge and a flaring lower half pierced through in three places, perhaps allowing it to be worn around the neck. It would have once had a reed stem inserted into the opening on the fin-like middle section. Size: 2.75" W x 3.9" H (7 cm x 9.9 cm)
Smoking pipes played an important role in Eastern Woodland culture, which spanned from sub-Arctic Canada to the southern United States. The earliest evidence we have for the use of tobacco in this area comes from ca. 100 to 200 CE; in addition to tobacco, and often prior to it, we know from ethnohistorical accounts that people smoked a variety of other plants, including dogwood, juniper, sumac, and bearberry. These pipes were not just made for the simple act of smoking; they seem to have had a strong religious component as well, and various archaeological sites from the period, including the Hopewell Mound sites, have the remains of hundreds of destroyed pipes.
Provenance: private Minnesota, USA collection; ex-Norman Lane collection, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA; ex-Arte Primitivo Gallery, New York, New York, USA
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Extensive wear and deposits on the surface commensurate with age, however the form is nicely preserved. Old collection label, mostly worn away, on one side.