Catlinite


Catlinite

Catlinite (also called pipestone or pipeclay) is a type of argillite (metamorphosed mudstone), usually brownish-red in color, which occurs in a matrix of Sioux quartzite. Because it is fine-grained and easily-worked, it is prized by Native Americans for use in making sacred pipes commonly referred to as peace pipes, or calumets (Fr: "hollow reed"). Pipestone quarries are located and preserved in Pipestone National Monument outside of Pipestone, Minnesota, in Minnehaha County, South Dakota, and at the Pipestone River in Manitoba, Canada.

The Canadian quarry is no longer used, although there are quarries in Canada where prized black stone is gleaned. The Ojibwa use the black stone for their sacred pipes. The red catlinite from the Pipestone quarries is the second softest rock in the world, and it lays under Sioux quartzite, the second hardest rock in the world. Only hand tools are used to reach the catlinite so it takes a long time to get to it. Only enrolled Native Americans are allowed to quarry for the stone at the Pipestone National Monument, and so it is protected from over-mining due to this. The stone in the photo shown to the right is not the correct color or consistency for making pipes, it is too brittle. Catlinite is buttery smooth, and soft with no quartzite in it so it is easy to carve and cut with a regular hacksaw or even a knife, it comes out of the ground a pinkish color often with a cream layer protecting it from the hard quartzite. [ [http://littlefeathercenter.50megs.com/Catlinite.html/ Little Feather Interpretive Center, Pipestone.] ]

The term "Catlinite" came into use after the American painter George Catlin visited the quarries in Minnesota in 1835; but it was Philander Prescott who first wrote about the rock in 1832, noting that evidence indicated that American Indians had been using the quarries since at least as far back as 1637.

Notes

References

*Sigstad, John S. (1970) "A Field Test for Catlinite". "American Antiquity" 35:3. pp. 377-382.

External links

* [http://www.uwlax.edu/mvac/Research/technologies.htm Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse] : Describes the process of making pipes from Catlinite


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Catlinite — Cat lin*ite, n. [From George Catlin, an American traveler.] A red clay from the Upper Missouri region, used by the Indians for their pipes. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Catlinite — La catlinite est une variété d argilite généralement de couleur brun rougeâtre. Cette roche sédimentaire a des grains fins (granulométrie de 0,0625 mm avec des grains visibles qu au microscope) qui permet d être travaillée aisément par l homme.… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • catlinite — [ katlɪnʌɪt] noun a red clay of the Upper Missouri region, the sacred pipestone of the American Indians. Origin C19: from the name of the American artist George Catlin + ite1 …   English new terms dictionary

  • catlinite — cat·lin·ite …   English syllables

  • catlinite — ˈkatlə̇ˌnīt noun ( s) Etymology: George Catlin died 1872 American artist + English ite : a red indurated clay from the upper Missouri region used by Indians for tobacco pipes : pipestone …   Useful english dictionary

  • Peace pipe — A peace pipe, also called a calumet or medicine pipe, is a ceremonial smoking pipe used by many Native American tribes, traditionally as a token of peace.A common material [See Longfellow s Hiawatha] for calumet pipe bowls is red pipestone or… …   Wikipedia

  • Calumet (pipe) — Peace pipe redirects here. For other uses, see Peace pipe (disambiguation). A Lakota (Sioux) chanunpa pipestem, without the pipe bowl, displayed at the United States Library of Congress A Calumet is a ceremonial smoking pipe used by some Native… …   Wikipedia

  • Pipestone National Monument — Infobox protected area | name = Pipestone National Monument iucn category = III caption = locator x = 146 locator y = 48 location = Pipestone County, Minnesota, USA nearest city = Pipestone, Minnesota lat degrees = 44 lat minutes = 0 lat seconds …   Wikipedia

  • Haida Argillite Carvings — came into existence during the 1800s. These carvings were mostly born out of the Haida desire to trade with the European explorers who came to their shores. Argillite carvings, therefore, are commonly seen as a tourist art because they were… …   Wikipedia

  • Calumet — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Calumet (homonymie). Un « Calumet de la paix » Lakota (Sioux) sans le fourneau conservé à la Bibliothèque du Congrès des Etats Unis Un calumet est une …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.