February 2012 Artifact of the Month

Tomahawk Pipe

1989.5.9

Tomahawk Pipe

Pipe tomahawks came into being during the early years of the fur trade.  They were designed and made in Europe, combining the emblems of peace (pipe) and war (tomahawk).  This one was made in France.  It has lead inlay on the handle or stem and a small amount of engraving on the axe head.  They sometimes served as presentation pieces given to Indian leaders and were carried as badges of social standing.