Skip Navigation

Pipe Bowl representing Owl

Arts of the Americas

These Native American objects represent just a few of the items made in the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century, primarily for sale to dealers and collectors to satisfy the growing market for indigenous products. Finely coiled baskets like the example by the Maidu weaver Mary Kea’a’ala Azbill were in great demand, as were Zuni Kachina dolls. The desire for Eskimo objects such as the ivory pipe engraved with a whale-hunting scene was accelerated by the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897. To appeal to non-Native patrons, Native artists invented new designs using trade materials such as the glass beads forming the embroidered floral arrangement on the northeastern puzzle bag (so named for the way its pieces fold together to keep it closed). Other artists used traditional materials but tailored designs to non-Native aesthetics, as seen in the porcupine-quill box. The Navajo quickly adapted to the Spanish introduction of silver coins and silver mining in the seventeenth century, embellishing their traditional wrist guards with hammered silver. Some artists retained both traditional materials and designs but produced greater quantities of popular items such as the Plains owl pipe bowl made from Catlinite (red pipestone).
MEDIUM Catlinite or pipestone
  • Place Made: United States
  • DATES early 20th century
    DIMENSIONS 3 3/4 x 5 3/8 in. (9.5 x 13.7 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 80.98.2
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Cynthia Hazen Polsky
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.

    Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact reproductions@brooklynmuseum.org (charges apply).

    For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

    For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

    If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
    CAPTION Plains (unidentified) (Native American). Pipe Bowl representing Owl, early 20th century. Catlinite or pipestone, 3 3/4 x 5 3/8 in. (9.5 x 13.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Cynthia Hazen Polsky, 80.98.2. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 80.98.2_view2_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Catlinite or pipestone pipe bowl carved in the form of an owl perched on a rectangular bar. Beak, tufts, eyes, and legs carved with details of eyes and feathers indicated by incised lines. The back of the bowl, under the bird, is carved with a serrated edge and turns up at the end as though that owl had a tail. The area around the opening in the owl's head is blackenedmining rights are for Native Americans.A pipe stem would be added to this bowl for smoking.Catlinite is only found in the Minnesota region in what is called Pipestaone National Parkk. Use of pipestone is restricted to Native Americans.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (85%)
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.