Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/249

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239
THE CALUMET IN THE CHAMPLAIN VALLEY.

exercised his best skill and his most patient labor upon that which he wrought. As Dr. Abbott, in Primitive Industry, well says, "To know the whole history of tobacco, and the custom of smoking and of the origin of the pipe, would be to solve many of the most interesting problems of American ethnology."

The beauty and variety of the pipes which have been found in the Mississippi Valley are unequaled in specimens from any

PSM V44 D249 Calumets from the champlain valley.jpg
Fig. 2. Fig. 3.

other part of the country, and because of this, and because these pipes are so well known, the simpler forms of less favored localities have sometimes been too much overlooked. But the less elaborate New England specimens are not without importance because they have a place in the archæology of the whole country.

In beauty of material and in finish the pipes of the Champlain Valley are quite equal to the best of the mound pipes, but in elaborateness of form they are much inferior. So far as our ancient pipe-makers attempted the execution of any particular form, they usually did very well—that is, unless they destroyed all their failures; but they do not appear to have tried to fashion any very difficult shapes, and very seldom attempted to imitate those animals which were common about them as did the Western tribes. Inasmuch as no two of our pipes are the same in size or form, there is no single type which represents this region.

It is probable that the pipes which have been found in the Champlain Valley were used and, unless obtained in trade or war, made by Algonkins or Iroquois, for these tribes occupied the region from no one knows how early times. Pipes, whether of stone or earthenware, are very uncommon in the Champlain Valley, though diligent search has brought to light a considerable number. In the descriptions and illustrations which are here presented it is the intention of the writer to give a tolerably com-