Updated Nov 25, 2009
SiYo, Hau koda
We hope you enjoy our site! We hope it gives our readers a better
understanding of our American Indian culture, the use of pipes; and the history of
the pipes by our American
Indian Tribes. We do not pretend to know all or to represent one
teaching and we welcome your contribution or comments about what we
share. Many people refer to our plains style pipe as a peace pipe.
Peace Pipe is not the proper name for our stone pipes but is how many
people identify our special pipes and differentiate our pipestone pipes
from those used as pleasure smoking pipes.
In our stores you can purchase authentic American
Indian Made Arts & Crafts or learn more about the artists.
The Keepers of The Sacred Tradition of Pipemakers
formed in 1996 to protect the Pipestone Quarries in Pipestone Minnesota for all
Tribal People. At that time there were various groups around Indian country
saying the Quarries should belong to them only and not all Tribal nations.
We are a 501C3 non profit Tribal spiritual
organization with members all over the world and from more than 35 Tribal
We believe in preserving the Sacred Tradition of the pipe
and allowing free access to the Great Pipestone Quarries for all Native
American's as they have been for time immemorial and support the art of pipemaking.
We also believe it is important to preserve each tribes unique culture,
arts and stories for future generations.
your help we can unite all people and help heal mother
earth. The Sacred pipes are just one tool in achieving that goal. We do many presentations in schools and
with prison groups to share our tribal cultures and the history of these
Pipes and the Pipestone quarries
in Pipestone MN.
Great Pipestone Quarries of Minnesota have been a special place or
sacred site for American Indian Tribal people for over 1,000 years. Many
nations of people came to these quarries; including the Sac-Fox, Otto, Mandan, Kiowa, Hidatsa, Dakota, Lakota,
Ojibwa as well as many other Native American tribes. The pipes made of
this stone, called Catlinite by Europeans, withstood the heat well
without cracking and was
easily worked with flint tools. Therefore the Pipestone quarried here became a
very precious trade item. Trade and travel dispersed pipestone through out the
Tribal Nations from Hudson Bay Canada to the Anazazi and Aztec of
Mexico. The Pipestone region became the major crossroads for trade. This north south Trade route
first used by our tribal people became the corridor the Europeans used and
later major highways including highway 75.
We are a
non-profit 501 C3 American Indian Spiritual organization our office and
stores are located in Pipestone, Minnesota.
shopping our gift shops
Pipestone is a soft red clay formation
stone found in Pipestone Minnesota which has been used by our tribal
people for more than 3,000 years to make effigies, pipes and sometimes
other items. Pipestone was named Catlinite by early whites because
George Catlin came to these quarries and documented what he saw. Black
Pipe is a black clay formation stone similar to Pipestone but is black
in color and found in Kanora Canada instead of Pipestone Minnesota.
Both stones are great for making pipes and other carvings the black
stone is a little harder than the red stone.
The most common question I get asked
about pipes is.
What is a traditional pipe?
An elder once told me that tradition only
goes back one generation to the person who taught you. Pipe styles
popular today like the t-pipe or plains pipe were not popular a few
hundred years ago. Back then you saw mostly elbow pipes, go back a
few more years and you would see effigy pipes and lip pipes. One
of the oldest known pipes is called a tube pipe or cloud blower, because it is shaped
like a tube or cigar. You would also need to consider the area or
tribe when talking about what is traditional since the black pipe was
the pipe of choice for many northern plains tribes and woodland tribes
such as the Ojibewa, but the red pipestone pipes became more popular
as tribes like the Dakota and the Lakota moved out to the plains. Color was not
the only difference in pipe styles between the tribes you would see more
large elbow pipes, crested pipes or disk pipes in the north and smaller
plains pipes, elbow pipes, and effigy pipes to the south. After deciding on a
year and a tribe with a little time you may be able to research and find
a traditional pipe for you. Many times the right pipe for you
might be based on your teachings, a dream, or a spirit helper.
Sometimes a pipe just grabs and talks to you and you can't go home
without it. I hope this helps you answer that question for you.
There are four colors in the medicine
wheel each tribe and or individual may choose any colors they like it
can be based on a dream or vision or on another teaching. We
wanted to share with you one of those teachings about the medicine wheel
with the colors red, black, white and yellow. The medicine
wheel represents a philosophy of life each of these colors representing
the four colors of man here on Mother Earth and reminding us of our
connectedness. This wheel reminds us that we are all related, by
embracing this philosophy and concept we are embracing everyone and
everything as a relative. Black represents the unknown, the fears
we must face in our lives, and the Thunder Being Nations. White
represents Spirit Waziyata the Great Giant of the North and Mother
Earths white blanket. Yellow represents the rising sun and the
newness each day. Red represents the road which we travel to the
Spirit World. It represents the Sacred Road we travel during our
The colors went in this order, but many
years ago a prophecy was told about Mother Earth and the changes she was
going through. When this prophecy was told the colors changed to
remind us that they would not change back until the time was at hand.
Around 1995 during a fast and Sun Dance on the Sioux reservation in
South Dakota the Spirit informed the people that the time was at hand.
The colors were then changed back to the original direction.
Medicine wheels are given many different colors, but the main concept
remains the same we are all related.
The medicine wheel can be used for
decoration on a pipe bags, medicine bag, leather shirts, pipe stems and