From the Six Nations in the northeast, to the Dine in the Southwest, to the Cherokee in the Southeast, to the Salish in the Northwest, to the Cree in the Plains, the pipe has been a symbol of prayer and ceremony to all Native American peoples for thousands of years. It was a physical link between a loving Creator and all of Creation, of which humans have been placed in this world for a period of time, with the hopes of one day returning to the Great Spirit. The pipe is, in fact, the prayer altar of all First Nations peoples.
Smoking a pipe as part of a ceremony or spiritual offering is a very sacred act, not to be taken lightly. The tobacco burned in the pipe during prayer, personal or ceremonial, is called kinnickinnick by the Ojibwa. Kinnickinnick literally means "what is mixed," and refers to plant materials that Native Americans mixed with tobacco for ceremonial smoking. Use of kinnickinnick is widespread in North America, but the ingredients varied regionally. In the Woodlands, the favorite ingredients are the inner bark of certain willows, dogwoods, or sumac leaves. The final mixture usually only contained about one third tobacco.
This striking 60-year-old Cherokee pipe presented through Dogbotz Boneyard portrays the image of the bear at front end of this vintage pipe bowl. The pipe has been carved primarily from speckled and gray soapstone. The pipe does not have a wooden stem; however, if so desired (and it may be, as stone can become extremely hot when smoked during prayer ceremonies), one can be carved or whittled to fit the pipe and a central hole burned through the pith of the wood. The pipe does have an extended vertical stone trapezoid with a hole drilled through its center about 1.75” from the mouthpiece so a leather strap can be strung through the hole and the pipe can be more easily carried.
Remember this vintage Cherokee skull pipe is a living, sacred object intended for prayer and ceremony. Please purchase it with that intent in mind and spirit.