THE MESSAGE BOARD POINT CHATTER IS NOW CLOSED TO ALL NEW POSTS.
Since moving up here to Montana, Lewis and Clarke are the big thing, their travels through the area and trade with the natives. Lots of trade beads found all around the area that they traveled but I hadn't heard anything about them bringing pipes to trade. Curious about the range that the pipes were traded in, have you done any research along that line or the earliest that they were used for trade?
The first mention of clay trade pipes in your area is at Ft Union, built on the border of ND and Montana in 1828, some years after Lewis and Clark. The pipes in this accumulation ( I hesitate to call it a collection ) are from France, England, Holland and America. The white ribbed pattern pipes with the spur are French 1790-1820. The Painted Figural is also French. The English pipes are generally the easiest to ID as most of them have makers'' marks with some being stamped "London" and including the maker' address on the stem. I suspect that several of these pipes are Dutch but can't be sure. Some are from the Pamplin Pipe factory in Virginia 1870's and some are from the Akron Smoking Pipe Factory in Ohio ( the two with the crossed stems ) . I like the tampers as well as the pipes with the alligator tooth being my favorite. The little tobacco pouch with the draw string is made from the silk cocoon of a giant cecropia moth, the largest moth in North America.
Excellent display. Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures.
Thank you. My lady is the house photographer.
I wonder if the pipes were used as commonly as the beads by the natives or more of a statis symbol by tribal hiearchy? Is there sign of them actually being used? I've seen efigy pipes used pre-trade period, those are much more ornate, so is simplicty and abundance of the trade pipes a factor in the trade pipes becoming more common? Just curious.
Tehuacano, I just went back through Bob Scriver's book, THe Blackfeet, Artists of the Northern Plains. There are lots of pipes featured in his book but they are all native-made with the exception of the iron "pipe tomahawks" that were common trade items among the plains Indians. There are no clay trade pipes in Scriver's book. I found the same situation in Charles Miles' book, Eskimo and Indian Artifacts of North America. Miles provides lots of photos of pipes but they are all native-made with the exception of the "pipe tomahawks" and no mention of clay trade pipes.
There is a historical dump site here on the farm that has yielded an abundance of iron tools, blacksmith made nails, ceramics, stoneware, wine bottles, some silver coins ( the oldest being a silver 1858 U.S. 1/2 Dime ) , musket balls, gun flints, a small cal. single barrel pistol and fifty-odd trade pipes.......mostly broken. I'm starting to get the drift that most of the these trade pipes were used by European settlers rather than Indians.
Dr. Hester, if you're out there, give us some help on this one.
That would pose a second question, what did they smoke? At what time did/didn't tobacco make it up to this area if that was the smoke of choice. I hadn't heard of marijuana being used up here as tribal custom. I don't have any books on the matter and little info. There are some pipes (native made) in the local museums but can't say the curators are really up on their history.
Tobacco is native to North America and its use was widespread prior to the arrival of the Europeans.
Cannabis was brought to the Americas by European Physicians. For seven thousand years it was an important part of the healer's medicine chest. Over the protests of the American Medical Association it was outlawed in the United States by the U.S. Congress in 1937..............politicians knowing more about medicine than physicians
I checked out the tobacco range and found there's one called Coyote tobacco that ranges from Mexico to Montana. Tobacco isn't tolerant to cold so it must have had a short growing period.
Here's a pic relative to this "pipe" topic:
This was part of the display on the 2nd table at the Collinsville ( Illinois ) artifact show. I soon found that almost EVERYBODY ( except me ) had a pipe or two on display, there must have been hundreds of all ilks & ages...
Red, you might check into displaying at next years' show.....I did NOT see one single Bird pipe like your collection..
i have found peices of clay pipe in mounds that put out primarily perds so i wonder how it is that somthing so much younger could end up in a mound that is so old just a question to get your mind bending
There are any number of explanations for how 150- 200 year old clay trade pipes could be found in the same "mound" as 2000-6000 year old Pedernales points. I wouldn't think they were being found at the same level but I know nothing about your site or the circumstances so I can't give you an opinion. We see a similar situation with the so-called Comanche points............collectors found Pedernales points on the site of a known historical Comanche campground and assumed the Comanches made them even through the Comanches didn't show up in Texas until the 1700's. The site we dig here on the farm is sandy soil with no stratification and all of the artifacts are right down against the clay layer. A combination of burrowing animals, gravity, and the elements results in square iron nails from the 1800's being found along side Paleo points. Another possibility is that your broken clay pipes are not trade pipes but something Indian made and much older.