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Carved Pipe

Arts of the Americas

Panel pipes were most likely carved as status symbols rather than for smoking. There is no evidence that this pipe was ever used, even though its channels would make smoking possible. The meaning of the carved interlocking and twisting clan animals, including different birds and frogs, is unknown now that the oral history of the pipe has been lost. Perhaps the piece was a potlatch gift. If so, the act of accepting the gift would have constituted an acknowledgment of the original owner’s proprietary rights to the spiritual histories connected to the carved figures.

Las pipas panel fueron probablemente talladas más como símbolos de estatus que para fumar. No hay evidencia que indique que esta pipa fue usada alguna vez, aunque sus canales hacen posible utilizarla para fumar. El significado de los grabados de animales del clan, enroscados e interconectados, y que incluyen diferentes pájaros y ranas, es desconocido, ya que la historia oral de la pipa se ha perdido. Quizás esta pieza fue un regalo de potlach. En dicho caso, el acto de aceptar el regalo habría constituido un reconocimiento de los derechos del dueño original sobre las historias espirituales conectadas a las figuras talladas.

MEDIUM Argillite, pigment traces
DATES early 19th century
DIMENSIONS 11 7/16 x 4 1/8 x 3/4 in. (29.1 x 10.5 x 1.9 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
CREDIT LINE Frank Sherman Benson Fund and the Henry L. Batterman Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION A long, thin, argillite pipe with elaborately carved figures and rarely found tracings of pigments-yellow, blue, and red. The object is in fair condition. A 1938 conservation record indicates that the pipe stem was broken and repaired with iron rods and other materials. This will be reversed by Conservation. Peter NcNair 3/29/2005 said that the earliest argillite pipes were stubby. He said that 'Panel pipes' began to appear in the late 1820s-1830s and were never intended to be smoked. Peter added that he has never seen any with residue indicating use, although it was physically possible to smoke them. Red vermillon used on the pipes came from China via Americans in the Sea Otter fur trade business. Red, blue, and yellow pigments were used to outline the carved forms. Peter comments: "Absolutely unique. I've seen them with red, but never with blue or yellow."
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Haida. Carved Pipe, early 19th century. Argillite, pigment traces, 11 7/16 x 4 1/8 x 3/4 in. (29.1 x 10.5 x 1.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank Sherman Benson Fund and the Henry L. Batterman Fund, 37.2982PA. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.2982PA_side1_PS1.jpg)
IMAGE side, side 1, 37.2982PA_side1_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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