Prehistoric Native American Hopewell Mound Peoples Effigy Platform Pipe in the Form of a Seated Toad

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Object Description

A Prehistoric Native American Hopewell Mound Peoples Effigy Platform Pipe in the Form of a Seated Toad
An old label to the underside inscribed ‘Massac Co. Ill.’
Circa 100 – 400 A.D

Size: 5cm high, 3cm wide, 9cm deep – 2 ins high, 1¼ ins wide, 3½ ins deep / 8cm high – 3¼ ins high (with base)

Object History

Ex West Country Private collection

Object Literature

In the ceremonial use of tobacco, the pipe bowl was regarded by Native Americans as a miniature altar on which was effected the burning of tobacco as incense, either as an offering to the gods or in honour of important personages. Animals were the dominant theme of Hopewell art from toads and ravens to bears and otters, all of whom were believed to have helped the creator at the beginning of the world when they spoke with a human tongue. They were regarded as living in societies parallel to humans capable of accepting and receiving gifts, grieving for the dead and having souls that transcended death, and as such they were treated by the Mound Peoples with appropriate respect.

Object Details

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