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Chief's Pipe Stem

Arts of the Americas

CULTURE Sioux
MEDIUM Wood, pigment, porcupine quills, horsehair, bird scalps, buckskin
DATES early 19th century
DIMENSIONS 33 3/4 x 2 3/4 x 3/4 in. (85.7 x 7 x 1.9 cm)
INSCRIPTIONS "Chief's pipe stem, Sioux"
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 50.67.115
CREDIT LINE Henry L. Batterman Fund and the Frank Sherman Benson Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Flat, wooden pipe stem, painted blue-green at the bowl end. The end nearer the mouth piece is decorated with a combination of colored lines which are narrow strips of braided quillwork wrapped around to encircle the flat stem. These strips are carefully planned to create a striped design from the combination of narrow bands as they are stacked or lined up one after the other. The design is red, white, blue, and black on one side and different on the reverse, consisting largely of black triangles tipped with short horizontal bands and offset by long horizontal bands. The bands are colored blackish-purple, orange and white. A hide strap is covered with long white bird quill wrapped fringes. Red horsehair is tied on at both ends of the quillwork and bird scalps are also attached.
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