Object photography

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Object description

  • Dakota (Eastern Sioux) artist
  • Chanunpa (pipe and stem), about 1820
  • Catlinite, wood, porcupine quill, hair
  • Great Plains, North America
  • L: 39 in, W: 2 in, D: 2 1/4 in (L: 99.1 cm, W: 5.1 cm, D: 5.7 cm)
  • Gift of Captain David Bates Douglass, 1822
  • E3689
  • Smoked in spiritual ceremonies and civic formalities
  • Colors symbolize blood and bone of Sioux people

The pipe's red bowl represents the blood of the Sioux people, and its white stem symbolizes their backbone. When bowl and stem are joined in ceremony for smoking tobacco, prayers to the Creator are communicated upward through tobacco smoke. This style of pipe was also used in peace negotiations.