Curios Argillite Pipe
ITEM: 612

The carvings on this argillite pipe document the interaction between the Haida and Europeans. The Haida created argillite pipes and sculptures to sell as tourist art, “curios” that explorers collected as souvenirs from exotic travels. From the 1800s onwards, argillite carvings were a new art form developed by the Haida.

Many incorporate a traditional Haida style with motifs that are European. The carvings can be interpreted as an artistic reaction to the colonization of Europeans as the Haida sculpted decorative pipes and incorporated tobacco smoking into ceremonial rituals and funerals after smoking was introduced by the Europeans.

The pipe mouth is on the right side, and the bowl is in the shape of a house. It is believed that Haida sculptures satirise the pervasive and violent nature of Europeans, particularly attitudes towards women (Perry, 2011). This is perhaps suggested through the enlarged image of the female figure.