About Our Pipes

The traditional Plains Pipe bowl

The Plains Pipe

Plains Pipes

These pipes represent the most common style of pipe in use throughout the period of white contact.  This style of pipe was not limited to one group or tribe, but was in general use from the western Ohio Valley to the Rockies and from the Arkansas River to the plains of southern Canada.  Large numbers of plains pipes came directly into white hands from the Indians during that widely publicized period  in our history, marked by the Indian wars and treaties.  Because the Indian ceremonial pipe was frequently used to bind a treaty, it became widely known as the "peace pipe".

The Four Winds Pipe bowl

Four Winds Pipe

Four Winds Pipes

This pipe is designed with each ring cut into the bowl representing a wind direction, it is one of the many decorative motifs used by the Indians to decorate their pipes.

MicMac pipe bowl

MicMac Pipe

The pipe with the widest distribution other than the elbow pipe is the micmac pipe. It has been found as far south as Georgia and from the Atlantic to the Rocky Mountains.


Elbow pipe bowl

Elbow Pipe

A very common pipe style of the 18th and 19th centuries. This pipe is the style most commonly used as a personal or pleasure pipe.


Crest pipe bowl

Crest Pipe

Many early pipes of both the plains and elbow styles were decorated with a crest on the shank of the bowl. This pipe is a modern adaptation of this style. The crest disappeared from later plains style pipes.


Eagle Claw Pipe Bowl

Eagle Claw Pipe


Eagle Claw Pipe & Buffalo Pipe

Some pipes were highly prized and were elaborately carved and decorated. These pipes are some of the modern outgrowths of some of these rarer variations.


Buffalo pipe bowl

Buffalo pipe

Buffalo Pipe

Another highly prized and elaborately carved & decorated pipe, this pipe was another modern outgrowth of the rarer variation.


Hatchet pipe bowl

Hatchet pipe

Hatchet Pipes

In the 1700's the British and French, realizing the esteem with which Indians held the pipe, began to manufacture medal trade hatchet pipes. These pipes are stone reproductions of these trade pipes. The stone reproductions began early in the 19th century, much earlier than might be expected.


Inlaid pipe bowl

Inlaid pipe

Inlaid Pipes

Inlaying of pipe bowls was done by melting lead bullets obtained from the white man and pounding this into grooves cut into the pipestone. today, in duplicating early inlay work, the Indian craftspeople use solder as a source of lead.


Pipestone pipe stem

Wood pipe stem

Pipe Stems

Pipe stems throughout the historic era have shown at least as great a variation as the bowls. Stems have been made from many materials - hollow reeds, many varieties of wood and pipestone. Wooden stems are of two varieties, those which have been split, grooved and then glued back together, and those such as sumac which have a pithy core that is burned out with a hot wire.


Eaglehead Effigy pipe

Horse Effigy pipe

Standing Bear Effigy pipe

Effigy Pipes

Our effigy pipes featuring the eaglehead, the horse and the standing bear are the ultimate in style and artistry. Our craftspeople take particular pride in crafting the pipestone to exemplify these effigies that represent important facets of American Indian spiritual tradition. The pipes represented here are our most popular styles.



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Pipestone Indian Shrine Association
PO Box 727
Pipestone, MN  56164

Toll Free: 1-888-209-0418
Phone:  507-825-5463
Fax:  507-825-2903