- Museum number
Pannel pipe, carved with traditional mythological figures, made of argillite.
- Production date
Length: 46 centimetres
Width: 8.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Bibliography for Haida Argillite Carvings all from the Centre for Anthropology library, British Museum. This is illustrated in R K Wright: 'Haida Argillite Pipes', MA thesis, U Washington 197, plate 4 p 62.
Indian Art in pipestone; George Catlin’s portfolio in the British Museum
George Catlin 1796-1872
KUB [Cat-] M13875,
19thc Haida argillite pipe carvers; stylistic attributions
Robin Kathleen Wright
KUB [WRI-] V.1, M13198
KUB [WRI-] V.2, M45832
Northern Haida master carvers
Robin Kathleen Wright
KUB [WRI-], M40051
Haida Carvers in argillite
Charles Marius Barbeau
The earliest argillite pipes tend to incorporate fewer figures than the later ones, which are usually more complicated, with figures separated by spaces pierced through the pipe. While the early pipes are often oval or round, and rather heavy, the later ones are longer and tend to have rectangular rather than oval cross sections. As Haida artists developed their skill in carving argillite the pipe forms became less and less functional. In particular, the pipe bowls became smaller, although both the bowl and the flue are always present.
The way in which a traditional sculptural form was altered is illustrated by the use of the extended tounge. The tounge, extending from the mouth of one creature into that of another, is a common motif on traditional artefacts and signifies the transference of spiritual power. In use on elaborate panel pipes the extended tounge became a functional method of joining together figures . This enabled the artist to cut out figures from the surrounding material, Thus demonstrating his technical skill in carving a fragile stone.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1977 15 Dec-1978 30 Oct, Museum of Mankind, Room 9; Smoking Pipes of the North American Indian
1980 Feb-1983 Aug, Museum of Mankind, Room 9; Art Made for Strangers: Haida Argillite Carving
1993-95, London, Museum of Mankind, 'Treasures of the Americas'
1996 Feb-1998 Feb, Museum of Mankind, Treasures of the Collections
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: Am1882B14.5 (old CDMS no.)