calumet(redirected from sacred pipe)
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Calumet(kăl`yo͞omĕt'), industrialized region of NW Ind. and NE Ill., along the south shore of Lake Michigan. Once a great heavy industry and steel manufacturing center, the area has become largely residential. The chief cities of the region are Gary, East Chicago, and Hammond (all in Indiana).
calumet[Fr.,=reed], name given by the French to the peace pipe used by the indigenous people of North America for smoking tobacco; it consisted of a long, feathered stem, with or without a pipe bowl. Such pipes were considered sacred, offering communion with the animate powers of the universe and embodying the honor and the source of power of Native Americans who possessed them. Every aspect of their fashioning and decoration was symbolic, and they varied from tribe to tribe. Calumets were particularly used at the conclusion of peace treaties and in ceremonies of adoption. They served as ambassadors' credentials and were passports of safe-conduct wherever recognized. To refuse to smoke the calumet when invited was considered an extreme insult. The pipes were principally used by the Dakotan (Siouan) and Algonquian peoples of the Great Plains and in the SE United States. However, pipes were used throughout most of North America, and communal smoking, wherever found, usually carried the guarantees of amity granted with food sharing. In the Middle West pipestonepipestone,
hard, dull red or mottled pink-and-white clay stone, carved by Native Americans into pipes. Called calumets (see calumet) the pipes were used extensively in ceremonials.
..... Click the link for more information. was much used in making them.