This pipe was made by Charlie Walking Cloud, a member of
the Lakota Sioux tribe of North Dakota. In the 1930's Walking Cloud
gave the pipe to US Army Corporal John Spare in a gesture of
gratitude for Spare's longtime friendship and service to the Lakota
that served in his unit during World War I. Walking Cloud also
adopted Spare into the Lakota tribe as his son. The pipe, and other
objects given to Spare by Walking Cloud, were donated to the DMNS
by Spare's daughter Paula Holmberg in 2008. Lakota pipe bowls and
pipe stems are traditionally not connected to each other unless in
use, as a joined pipe bowl and pipe stem has a powerful spiritual
meaning. This pipe was donated with the stem and bowl connected,
which required them to be separated following a specific protocol
by a Lakota pipe carrier.
In North America, pipes have had widespread use for
numerous political and ceremonial purposes including greeting
newcomers, facilitating trade, making peace, declaring war,
honoring individuals, performing rites of passage, marriages,
mortuary practices, funerals, and personal use. (1,2,3)
Over time, pipe bowls were made in a variety of shapes and
sizes with some styles being attributed to specific time
periods. Walking Cloud's pipe bowl is called an elbow pipe, a style
which is predominantly linked to the Proto-Historic and Historic
periods. During the Historic period, Europeans also began making
elbow pipes and mass producing them for trade. Elbow pipes are also
called rectangular, L-shaped, T-shaped, Siouan (4) or calumet style
after the calumet pipe ceremonies documented during the Historic
period. (5) Pipe stems were made of pipestone, wood, reed, or cane
and are considered by some to be of more significance than the pipe
Walking Cloud's pipe bowl and stem are made of "pipestone"
which is a generic term used to describe any carvable, yet durable
stone used to make pipes. A well known pipestone is catlinite,
which is named for George Catlin, the artist and explorer who first
described in writing the catlinite quarry in 1836. (7)
Catlinite is the red and reddish-pink, quartz free, metamorphic
argillite with a specific mineralogical signature that is only
found in the pipestone quarry of southwestern Minnesota. (8,9,10)
The catlinite quarry was used by American Indians for several
centuries, and heavily used by Europeans beginning in the
1800s. In 1937 the catlinite quarry became Pipestone National
Monument, a neutral and sacred area that is open to the
visiting public but can only be quarried by Native Americans.
Other pipestone outcroppings that are similar in color to catlinite
and are often mistaken for it are found in Arizona, Arkansas,
Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Due to the red color, Walking Cloud's pipe may be made of
catlinite. However, because of the different geological sources of
red pipestone in North America, it should not be assumed
that every red pipestone is catlinite. To correctly identify
pipestone and other materials including ceramics, lithics, and
bone, archaeologists team with physical scientists to perform
archaeometric tests such as chemical and elemental
Pipestone is the particular research interest of Collections
Assistant Bridget Sabo. This particular item was chosen and
researched by her.
1. Ian Brown, "The Calumet Ceremony in the Southeast
and Its Archaeological Manifestations," American Antiquity 54(2)
2. Robert Hall, "Weeping Greetings and Dancing the
Calumet," Archaeology of the Soul: North American Indians Belief
and Ritual (Urbana: University of Illinois Press 1997),
3. Donald J. Blakeslee, "The Origin and Spread of
the Calumet Ceremony," American Antiquity 46(4) (1981):
4. George West, Tobacco Pipes and Smoking
Customs of American Indians (Milwaukee: Milwaukee
Public Museum, 1934), 231.
5. James W. Springer, "An Ethnohistoric Study of the
Smoking Complexes in Eastern North America," Ethnohistory 28(3)
6. West, Tobacco Pipes and Smoking
Customs of the American Indians, 265-268.
7. West, Tobacco Pipes and Smoking Customs
of the American Indians, 330.
8. James Gunderson, "Wisconsin Pipestone: A
Preliminary Mineralogical Examination," The Wisconsin Archaeologist
68(1) (1987): 1-19.
9. James Gunderson, "Catlinite and the Spread of the
Calumet Ceremony," American Antiquity 58(3) (1993):
10. Thomas Emerson and Randall Hughes, "De-mything
the Cahokia Catlinite Trade," Plains Anthropologist 46(1745)
11. Robert F. Boszhardt and James Gunderson, "X-Ray
Powder Diffraction Analysis of Early and Middle Woodland Red Pipes
From Wisconsin," Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 28(1)
12. John H. Broihahn, "Wisconsin's Pipestones:
Comments on the History, Archaeology, and Cultural Aspects
of Wisconsin's Pipestones," (Madison:
Wisconsin Historical Society Office of the State Archaeologist
Technical Report Series 03-0002, Project 96-7705).
13. Emerson and Hughes, "De-mything the Cahokia
Catlinite Trade," 149-161.
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