The most famous Native American pipe is the calumet, also called peace pipe or sacred pipe.
Long before Columbus arrival the pipe was an object of profound veneration and was used in ceremonial occasions by the Northeast Indians and Plains Indians of North America. The term of peace pipe is nevertheless inadequate because the pipe was actually used in the ratification of all solemn engagements, both of war and peace.
Native American spirituality is based on a high respect for nature and the belief that everything around, even inanimate objects, are infused with spirit. Tobacco was considered a sacred and powerful plant and the smoke from the Peace Pipe was believed to carry prayers up to the Creator, so promises made at the ceremony should never be broken.
On the other hand, the pipe itself was a symbolic microcosm. All its components (the pipe bowl, pipe stem, even pipe bag) had sacred meaning and were decorated in accordance with honored roles.
The crafting of pipes was equally important. The material used to manufacture the pipe’s bowl varied from tribe to tribe: river clay (mostly used by the Cherokee and Chickasaw tribes), catlinite (also called pipestone and used by the Eastern, Western, Great Basin and Plains Tribes), bluestone (used by the Cherokee, Creek, and Chickasaw tribes), wood and antler (used by Southwest Indians), ceramic (Iroquois and Cherokee tribes) and so on.
The sacred pipe was so much respected that an Indian who carried it was often allowed to pass through enemy territory out of respect. Time could not erase all the importance this sacred object had for thousand years. Even today many Native Americans continue to venerate the peace pipe although much of the sacred ceremonial meanings have been lost.
The ceremony of smoking the peace pipe is quite simple. It commonly begins with the pipe’s filling with tobacco or a mixture of tobacco and sweet smelling herbs, barks and roots, then continues with the invocations to the four directions, Mother Earth, and Father Sky. During the ceremony the participants sit in a circle.
If you are looking to buy pipes that were actually made by Native Americans you can check this site: native-languages.org. The Peace Pipe is not restricted to being used only by Native Americans, but you should keep in mind it is a spiritual artifact and have to be treated with respect and care, and used only in a sacred manner.
Top incoming search terms:
- Importance of BlueStone for the cherokee people
- indian tribes famous pipe