Artifacts

Haida Agillite Pipe
ITEM: 809
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This is an example of a Haida Argillite Pipe carved in a totemic design referring to the symbolic relationship between animals and humans. When analysing the motifs in Northwest Coast Art it is often difficult to identify humans from animals as aspects of both merge into one symbol.

Argillite is a very soft, fine grained black stone yet despite the delicate nature of the material many survive today because pipes were collected as a souvenir rather than for practical use. The Haida created pipes to appeal to travellers since it was those travellers who introduced the concept of tobacco smoking. This type of object is still made in the northwest today by artists on the Queen Charlotte Island and Vancouver Island as well as Victoria.