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Prehistoric Native American Clay Pipe - Human Form

Lot 0113
North America, southern Indiana (Vanderburg County), Middle Woodland period, ca. 200 to 1000 CE. A ceramic pipe bowl, now dark from touch, in the form of a human head with small features. Size: 1.3" L x 1.9" W x 2.25" H (3.3 cm x 4.8 cm x 5.7 cm)

Smoking pipes seem to have played an important role in Eastern Woodland culture, which spanned from sub-Arctic Canada to the southern United States. The earliest evidence we have for the use of tobacco in this area comes from ca. 100 to 200 CE; in addition to tobacco, and often prior to it, we know from ethnohistorical accounts that people smoked a variety of other plants, including dogwood, juniper, sumac, and bearberry. These pipes were not just made for the simple act of smoking; they seem to have had a strong religious component as well, and various archaeological sites from the period, including the Hopewell Mound sites, have the remains of hundreds of destroyed platform pipes, including effigy ones like this. Others were buried with their owners individually.

Provenance: Ex-Private Kentucky Collection

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Dark patina, with wear to features but details are still clear.

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Prehistoric Native American Clay Pipe - Human Form

Estimate $600 - $900Jan 18, 2018