The Culture of Smoking: The Archaeology of Tobacco Pipes in Eastern North America

Overview

Smoking has played an important role in the cultures of North America since ancient times. Because of the ceremonial and ritual aspects of the practice in Native American societies, smoking pipes are important cultural artifacts. The essays in The Culture of Smoking constitute the first sustained interpretive study of smoking pipes, focusing on the cultural significance of smoking both before and after European contact.

Pipes lend themselves to anthropological as well as ...

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Overview

Smoking has played an important role in the cultures of North America since ancient times. Because of the ceremonial and ritual aspects of the practice in Native American societies, smoking pipes are important cultural artifacts. The essays in The Culture of Smoking constitute the first sustained interpretive study of smoking pipes, focusing on the cultural significance of smoking both before and after European contact.

Pipes lend themselves to anthropological as well as archaeological analysis in part because they are more ceremonial than utilitarian. Thus, while their styles and provenance can reveal something about trade relationships, cultural transfer, and aesthetic influences, they also provide important information about the nature of ritual in a particular society. As the contributors demonstrate, pipes offer a window through which to view the symbolic, ideological, and political roles that smoking has played in North American societies from prehistoric times to the nineteenth century.

The eleven essays included range widely over time and region, beginning with a case study of pipes and mortuary practices in the Ohio Valley during the Early Woodland Period. Subsequent chapters examine stone pipes from coastal North Carolina during the Late Woodland Period and the role pipes played in interregional interaction among protohistoric Native American groups in the Midwest and Northeast. Other essays explore the variety of cultural and political uses of pipes during the period of European contact. The final section of the book focuses on smoking in Euro-American contexts of the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries.

The innovative interpretive approaches taken by the contributors and the broad historical perspective will make The Culture of Smoking a model for examining other categories of material culture, and the volume will be welcomed by anthropologists and historians as well as archaeologists.

Sean M. Rafferty is associate professor of anthropology at the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Rob Mann is the southeast regional archaeologist for Louisiana and is based in the Museum of Natural Science at Louisiana State University.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572333505
  • Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Sean M. Rafferty is associate professor of anthropology at the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Rob Mann is the southeast regional archaeologist for Louisiana and is based in the Museum of Natural Science at Louisiana State University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : smoking pipes and culture
1 "They pass their lives in smoke, and at death fall into the fire" : smoking pipes and mortuary ritual during the early woodland period 1
2 Stone pipes of the southern coastal region of North Carolina : smoke, ritual, and contact 43
3 Pipes, leadership, and interregional interaction in protohistoric midwestern and northeastern North America 73
4 Men and women, pipes and power in native New England 125
5 Smoking pipes : an archaeological measure of Native American cultural stability and survival in eastern North America, A.E. 1500-1850 143
6 Smokescreens : tobacco, pipes, and the transformational power of fur trade rituals 165
7 "Neat and artificial pipes" : base metal trade pipes of the northeastern Indians 185
8 The Tudor rose and the fleurs-de-lis : women and iconography in seventeenth-century Dutch clay pipes found in New York City 207
9 Home rulers, red hands, and radical journalists : clay pipes and the negotiation of working-class Irish/Irish American identity in late-nineteenth-century Paterson, New Jersey 241
10 The production and consumption of smoking pipes along the tobacco coast 273
11 Red clay tobacco pipes : a petrographic window into seventeenth-century economics at Jamestown, Virginia, and New England 305
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  • Posted January 22, 2009

    pipes in Native American and European immigrant groups

    From the eleven articles by anthropologists and archaeologists connected with universities, one finds that the Indian 'peace pipe' familiar from numerous Western movies was but a small aspect of pipes in Native American culture. For example, there was also a 'war pipe.'. But the place of pipes in pre-Columbian and later Native American culture goes far beyond this as well. ''First, it must be kept in mind that smoking pipes are essentially drug delivery devices and that smoking instills varying degrees of altered consciousness.' In 'no way utilitarian,' pipes are thus distinguished from other aboriginal artifacts; and from this way they are distinguished, they uniquely shed light on dimensions of spirituality, shamanistic practices, tribal social activities, inter-tribal relationships, and the history and movement of tribes. As seen by some of the latter essays, these social and anthropological matters relating to pipes found their way into different ethnic and regional groups of Europeans settling in eastern North America who adopted pipe smoking. Native American pipes were made of stone or wood; had different shapes; and sometimes included effigies of animals. All of these differences concern different purposes and occasions, or tell something about the history of the group respective pipes were related to. Rafferty is an associate professor of anthropology at SUNY-Albany; Mann is an archaeologist in Louisiana. Photographs, maps, and tables go with the text in this fetching subject.

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