top of page

'The Smoking Chief'

‘The Peace/Ceremonial Pipe’ - a particular type of smoking pipe, used by a number of cultures of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas in their sacred ceremonies.

Traditionally they are used to offer prayers in a religious ceremony, to make a ceremonial commitment, or to seal a covenant or treaty. The pipe ceremony may be a component of a larger ceremony, or held as a sacred ceremony in and of itself.

The Indigenous Peoples of the Americas who use ceremonial pipes have names for them in each culture’s indigenous language. However, not all cultures have pipe traditions, and there is no single word for all ceremonial pipes across the hundreds of diverse Native American languages. Historically, ceremonial pipes have been used to mark war and peace, as well as commerce and trade, and social and political decision-making.

A number of indigenous North American cultures make and use ceremonial pipes. However, there are also Native American cultures that do not have a ceremonial smoking traditions, but do make pipes for social smoking only. The types of materials used vary by community and locality. Some of the known types of pipe stone and pipe materials are; Clay, Red Pipestone, Blue Pipestone, Bluestone, Salmon Alabaster, Green Pipestone, Black Pipestone (South Dakota) and Black Pipestone (Uinta).

Clay - The Cherokee and Chickasaw both fashion pipes made from fired clay, however these are only used for social smoking

Red Pipestone - Primarily used by the Plains tribes, and the Western and Great Basin tribes

Blue Pipestone - Used predominately by the Plains tribes for certain types of ceremonial pipes

Bluestone - This stone has been used by several Eastern Woodlands tribes for pipe-making

Salmon Alabaster - The Uncompahgre Ute People/The Tabeguache/Northern Ute People make ceremonial pipes from salmon alabaster

Green Pipestone - Used by the Shoshone, Ute, and Plains tribes for personal and ceremonial pipes

Black Pipestone (South Dakota) - Used by some of the Plains tribes for certain types of ceremonial pipes

Black Pipestone (Uinta) - This stone has been used by the Great Basin tribes for war clubs and pipes

The Plains Indians often carried the Native American peace pipes in a bag called a 'pipe bundle'. This bundle was decorated on the outside and was also used to carry the tobacco that would be used in the pipe. The Native Americans considered tobacco to be a sacred and powerful plant. If help was needed from the spirit world, sometimes tobacco would be offered in return for help. It was believed that the smoke from the Native American peace pipe carried prayers up to the heavens.

Head to our shop today to find our Ceremonial/Peace Pipe inspired tee, 'The Smoking Chief' - a 100% organic and a 100% SACANTICAL summer thread.

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page