Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology




Catlinite and redstone pipes are widely distributed on post-A.D 1450 native American sites across eastern North America, including the Caddo area of the far Southeast. As Rodning indicates, however, catlinite pipes are much more widespread from the late seventeenth century to the early eighteenth century, where the smoking of catlinite pipes is associated with calumet ceremonialism, and the spread of calumet ceremonialism associated with the “spread of European colonists and colonialism.”

In this article, I discuss the temporal and spatial distribution of catlinite and redstone pipes on Caddo sites across the northern and southern Caddo areas. These pipes occur in both pre- and post-European contexts in Caddo sites, and take several forms (disk and elbow pipes), but their widest distribution is on sites that date from ca. A.D. 1690-1780 on Caddo sites in East Texas.

Catlinite and redstone pipes are made from argillite found in sources in the Great Plains and the upper Midwest, most notably at Pipestone National Monument in southwestern Minnesota. According to Rodning, the French “colonists are known to have imported argillite and perhaps catlinite from the Midwest or Plains… for the purpose of making calumet pipes to give as gifts to native American groups with whom the French sought alliances.”

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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