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Inlaid Tomahawk Pipe Bowl

Arts of the Americas

On View: American Identities: A New Look, Centennial Era, 5th Floor
The articles in this case and the adjacent clothing case [see 50.67.6] are some of the earliest and finest Eastern Plains pieces in existence. They were collected by Dr. Nathan Sturges Jarvis, a military surgeon stationed at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, between 1833 and 1836. Most items were made by the Eastern and Middle Dakota (Sioux) or by the peoples of the Red River region, including the Red River Métis, Anishinabe, Plains Cree, and Salteaux. Some of the objects were purchased by Jarvis, and others may have been given to him in exchange for his medical services.

By the early nineteenth century, the growing numbers of white settlers and military personnel—following decades of fur trading—had depleted much of the game on which the Dakota and Red River peoples depended. Indigenous ingenuity in combining trade materials such as cloth, metal, and glass beads with traditional hides, pipestone, and porcupine and bird quills is evident in these objects.
MEDIUM Catlinite (pipestone), lead
DATES early 19th century
DIMENSIONS 4 1/2 x 4 x 7/8 in. (11.4 x 10.2 x 2.2 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in American Identities: A New Look, Centennial Era, 5th Floor
CREDIT LINE Henry L. Batterman Fund and the Frank Sherman Benson Fund
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CAPTION Sioux (Native American). Inlaid Tomahawk Pipe Bowl, early 19th century. Catlinite (pipestone), lead, 4 1/2 x 4 x 7/8 in. (11.4 x 10.2 x 2.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund and the Frank Sherman Benson Fund, 50.67.103. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 50.67.103_bw_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Pipe bowl made in the shape of a tomahawk with lead inlay around the pipe bowl and stem. Does not look functional. Possibly made for trade.
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Inlaid Tomahawk Pipe Bowl