Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Portfolio of Pipes painted by George Catlin (1852)



Portfolio of pipes painted on cardboard by George Catlin in 1852 with hand- written text, front of portfolio.

A selection of Indian pipes in “Catlin’s North American Indian Collection,” with drawings made and colored from the originals, by his own hand.

The males amongst the North American Indians all smoke, using instead of tobacco, several narcotics, such as inner bark of Red Willow, sumach leaves & c. which they call “k’nick-k’neck”, when it is prepared for smoking; to which, when they can get it, they add a small portion of tobacco.

Each man manufactures his own pipe, the bowl of which is generally carved in spar, in marble, stealite or potstone, found in their countries.

Pipes amongst the Am Indians are not only matters of luxury in the hands of all private individuals, where they are always emblems of peace and tendered as friendly salutations; but are kept in all tribes by the chiefs, as instruments for solemnizing Treaties; in which case they are public property considered sacred, and denominated “Calumets,” (or pipe of peace).

The Barrow pipes of America which are exceedingly crude show that smoking amongst the North Am Indians has been a very ancient custom: and the pipes of their recent sculpture seen in the following drawings, show distinctly their progress of manufacture.

Twenty-three paintings, each with a page of description, are bound in a full red leather portfolio which is decorated in gold and black.

© The Trustees of the British Museum

A book with similar drawings is John C. Ewers, "Indian Art in Pipestone. George Catlin's Portfolio in the British Museum" (Smithsonian, 1979).





plate 1. selection of Barrow pipes and pipe bowls.
Hand written text, front of portfolio.
A selection of Indian pipes in “Catlin’s North American Indian Collection”: with drawings made and coloured from the originals, by his own hand.
The males amongst the North American Indians all smoke, using instead of tobacco, several narcotics, such as inner bark of Red Willow, sumach leaves & c. which they call “k’nick-k’neck”, when it is prepared for smoking; to which, when they can get it, they add a small portion of tobacco.
Each man manufactures his own pipe, the bowl of which is generally carved in spar, in marble, stealite or potstone, found in their countries.
Pipes amongst the Am Indians are not only matters of luxury in the hands of all private individuals, where they are always emblems of peace and tendered as friendly salutations; but are kept in all tribes by the chiefs, as instruments for solemnizing Treaties; in which case they are public property considered sacred, and denominated “Calumets”, (or pipe of peace).
The Barrow pipes of Am which are exceedingly rude show that smoking amongst the North Am Indians has been a very ancient custom: and the pipes of their recent sculpture seen in the following drawings, show distinctly their progress of manufacture.
Twenty-three paintings, each with a page of description, are bound in a full red leather portfolio which is decorated in gold and black.

© The Trustees of the British Museum


Plate 2. selection of Barrow pipes and pipe bowls, featuring humans, animals and bird.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 3. view of the Red Pipe Stone Quarry; known as Pipestone National Monument in the valley of Pipestone Creek, Minnesota. Native men on ridge above, several others are below working and sitting; tipi nearby.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 4. pair of hands boring a pipe; bracelet and shirt sleeve with fringe could be seen.

© The Trustees of the British Museum
 



Plate 5. selection of decorated Sioux pipe stems.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 6. four decorated Sioux pipes, two with Eagle quills.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 7. Pawnee, Sioux, Konza and Ojibbeway decorated pipe bowls made from red pipe stone; featuring animals, pots and people.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 8. five decorated pipe bowls featuring men, bears, and a woman; below is a decorated tomahawk pipe.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 9. eight decorated Sioux pipe stems, one featuring a Buffalo chase.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 10. Sioux, Cheyenne and Ojibbeway decorated pipe stems.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 11. Nayas Pipes, from Queen Charlotte's Island and Sound, British Columbia.Quote from Catlin; "Nayas Indians were the Haida who began to quarry the black slate (argillite) from a single site at the foot of Skidigate Inlet before 1820".

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 12. selection of Sioux and Konza decorated pipes and pipe heads; some featuring man, woman, bird and animals.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 13. pouches made from the skin of small animals; used for carrying tobacco, smoking barks and weeds.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 14. a pipe in three sections, decorated with hunting, battle and domestic scenes; belonging to Nee-hee-o-woo-tis (the Wolf on the Hill) Chief of the Cheyennes.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 15. a group of Mandan decorated pipes and pipe heads; featuring men, women, pots and bird.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 16. two "Medecine" (mystery) pipes of the Mandans.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




plate 17. smoking apparatus of Ha-na-tah Nu-mauhk (Wolf Chief), head civil chief of the Mandans.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 18. pipe of red pipe stone, Otter skin pouch and war belt made of shell wampum belonging to Mah-to-toh-pa (Four Bears) War chief of the Mandans.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 19. bead belt, decorated tomahawk pipe and pouch belonging to Black Hawk, Sauk and Fox Chief.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 20. Eehk-tohk-pa-she-pee-shaw, (Black Mocasin), chief of the Minatarrees, upper missouri; sitting, wrapped in skin robe and holding a long decorated pipe in front of a small fire. Next to him is a man, woman and child; on the post at the rear, hangs a buffalo robe, bonnet, shield and a pouch with bow and arrows.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 21. selection of Sioux, Winnebago and Pawnee pipes and pipe heads made from red pipe stone.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 22. painted buffalo robe featuring a pipe, buffalos, battle scene and men on horses.

© The Trustees of the British Museum




Plate 23. painted buffalo robe featuring tipis, horse, men carrying Beaver or Otter skins while others are smoking pipes; women standing in the distance; stars and quarter moon above.

© The Trustees of the British Museum



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