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Object Record

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Object ID # 1959.023.010ab
Object Name Pipe, Smoking
Title Catlinite Pipe Bowl
Lexicon category 3: Personal Artifacts
Date Undetermined
Artist Unknown
Made Unknown
Place of Origin United States of America
Description Red stone (catlinite) pipe bowl from an "elbow" pipe. The pipestone has a slight, blunt protrusion beyond the bowl. The bowl of the pipestone is straight and cylindrical. The wooden pipestem ("b") is cylindrical and undecorated. Its insertion and bit (mouthpiece) ends are similar. The pipestone has a dull red appearance, suggesting that it is catlinite.
Makers mark None
Provenance The pipe was kept for many years by George Webster Butchart at Owen Sound, Ontario. The pipestone, however, would likely have originated from the United States.
Collection First Nations, 19th-c Collection
Material Stone/Wood
Dimensions L-8.7 cm
Found Owen Sound, Grey County
People Butchart, George Webster
Function A piece of stone that has been hand-drilled and shaped to form a pipe bowl for a smoking pipe. Catlinite stone is sourced from the Wisconsin / Minnesota area, but it was often traded. "Catlinite" is named after George Catlin (1796-1872), a painter who wrote about First Nations people. A reference book mentioned that to make a pipe bowl like this, the maker would use flint and obsidian tools in order to trace the outline of the pipe and cut it out of the quarry. Then it was shaped and drilled with flint. The maker blew into it to make sure it was drilled properly (stone dust would blow out). Then the pipestone was rounded off and polished. Catlinite is a soft material to work with, but hardens eventually. (THE WORLD OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN, 1979, p. 295 shows photos of the process of pipe-making).