Smoking tobacco has always been a part of the social life of Native Americans. Throughout time, Indian pipes have varied in both size and shape in order to adapt to the specific needs of a ritual or for personal or tribal use. Today, these handmade pipes are made in different designs and of many different materials offering a wide variety of options for tobacco use.
Even before Christopher Columbus stepped foot in the New World, tobacco followed the Indian trade routes all throughout the continent. Part of the important rituals and ceremonies of many tribes is pipe smoking. The craftsmanship of the pipe has been given much importance, maybe even more than the tobacco itself. There are many different pipes made with individual features.
The Pipestone is one of the most common types of pipes. Many know it as the Calumet. Various rituals and ceremonies used this type of pipe for centuries heart unique smoking pipes. The Sioux tribe and other Plains Indian tribes used the popular peace pipe. A wooden stem is attached to a carved calamite or pipestone for a Calumet Pipe to be made. Because of trading with other tribes, this indigenous product became available all throughout the country.
A smaller pipe from the Iroquois as well as Cherokee tribes was another variety. Southwest Indians also used antlers as pipes. The tomahawk pipe was made in the post-Columbian America. Also very popular in Native America is the Elbow Pipe.
Effigy pipes are also famous. Eagles are some of the more popular carved animals. Although the variety and craftsmanship is different, these pipes have a unique common factor. Native Americans have always paid close attention to the craftsmanship and details. These pipes are symbolic and hold great importance and are created beautifully from objects from nature.
Native American pipes can be used for ceremonies where people would pass around the pipe in a clockwise direction. In more social events, when the host lights up the pipe, it would mean that it is time for the guests to head home. These subtle and unique things make the use of the Native American pipe very insightful. These pipes made by Native Americans make wonderful artifacts. A fun hobby for pipe lovers is to discover the unique variety of well crafted and rustic Indian pipes.