pipe (narcotics & intoxicants: smoking)


Tobacco is not native to the Arctic regions, but Inuit rapidly adopted it once it became available through trade. Like most Inuit material culture, Inuit pipes are robust pieces of equipment designed to survive substantial wear and tear. This example, made in Alaska in the early twentieth century is a typical example. The pipe has been made from wood, bound with hide straps and with a bowl made of lead to a design which originally developed in Siberia and was taken up in Alaska in the nineteenth century. It shows signs of heavy use.

As trade became more common, many Arctic peoples began to make pipes to this design from ivory, often incised with decorative scenes of hunting. These pipes are attractive pieces, but were never intended to be used, instead part of a growing body of tourist art sold as curiosities to visitors to the far north.

The collector is Edward Lovett.

Collection Information

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