LANYARD PIPES

 

A B

 

C D

 

The “Lanyard” name has been attached to this unique pipe form to identify its perforated “gun sight” appendage along its stem. The addition of the appendage, which may have had one or more perforations, was apparently to allow suspension of the pipe by a lanyard from the neck or from a musket. These pipes were made of both steatite and catlinite. The pipes were made by Creek and Cherokee people in the Southeast during the Historic period. Historians have debated the idea that stone pipes of this type were also made by European traders. Their presence in New England and the Great Lakes areas of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan where the French fur trade was dominant as well as in the Southeast where English traders did business with the Cherokee and Creek people may suggest that the some European-made pipes do exist; however, there is little doubt that Native Americans made the vast majority of them. Very similar pipes without the lanyard perforation were also made by the Creek and Cherokee Indians and appear in the “Reed Stemmed Pipes” section. A related pipe, also of the Historic period, is the Mic-Mac pipe (pipe C). This pipe was found by Mr. Robert Hawley in the early 1960’s on his farm in Branch County, Michigan and appeared in the CSAJ (Vol.51, No.4, 2004). Corky Barrack reported that the pipe was made from black steatite with pewter inlays on the bowl and stem area. This pipe form was made by the Mi’Kimaq (Mic Mac) Indians that inhabited a region stretching from the northern coast of Maine to Nova Scotia and Prince Albert Island between 1700 and 1820.

Lanyard pipes were recovered by Jefferson Chapman from Overhill Cherokee sites in eastern Tennessee that were made of steatite (pipe A). Overhill Cherokee sites date to the mid 1700’s. One example, recovered in Minnesota (pipe B), demonstrates multiple perforations in a longer appendage. C.B. Moore also recovered an example of this type that was very similar to pipe B near Trudeau, Louisiana from a Historic site that also contained iron trade goods. Incidentally, the French had an active trade network in the New Orleans area. Emma Fundaburk (Sun Circles and Human Hands) illustrated a Creek-made Lanyard pipe made of steatite from Talladega County, Alabama that featured an effigy of a mother holding her infant suspended from the front of the bowl (below).