Some of the first European pipes were made out of a type of clay called kaolin, the same mineral potters used to produce fine china.
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The finish was gone but there was some great grain on the back, front and sides of the bowl.
The rim was a mess – out of round, scratches and knocked about enough to lose its sharp profile and edges.
Didn’t even smoke this one before I started in changing its appearance. Made that pipe look as if it had gone through all sorts of catastrophes and come out sort of all right. My pipe smoking kind of ebbed and flowed over the next several years, but didn’t really amount to much.
I messed with cigarettes a lot while in high school and some in college but gradually shifted over more to pipe smoking until I stopped cigarettes completely.
The peace pipe, whose wooden shank was often decorated with feathers and quillwork, was actually a type of calumet.
What set it apart from other calumets was its bowl, which was carved from a soft, reddish stone now called catlinite, named for 19th-century painter George Catlin (more than 500 of Catlin’s paintings and drawings of Pawnee, Cheyenne, Blackfeet, and other Native Americans are now in the Smithsonian).
In the 1500s, European explorers returned home from the New World laden with tobacco and Native American pipes.
At first, pipe makers copied these designs, but pipes quickly evolved into the recognizable shapes that we know today.
The first people to smoke tobacco in pipes were the Native Americans who lived in the eastern woodlands of North America between 500 BCE and 500 CE.