How to Drill Calumet Pipe Stems

Published on August 17, 2014 by Amy

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Calumet Pipe
Calumet Pipe

Calumet pipes, often erroneously called “peace pipes,” are ceremonial tobacco pipes which were important in many Native American tribes. Calumets were often made from local varieties of pipestone, but could also be made from wood, clay and, post-Columbus, metal. These pipes would then be fitted with a wooden pipe stem. Using native technology, the stems would be drilled out and fitted into the bowl of the calumet. Using this same technology, it is possible to drill your own calumet pipe stem.

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1. Select your wooden branch. The best wood has a relatively soft pith, such as elderberry. Your branch should also be as straight as possible. Cut the branch to the desired length with a knife.

2. Wrap bowstring once around the body of your arrow. This turns your bow and arrow into a bow drill.

3. Place the wooden branch in between your legs in order to hold it steady. Place one hand on the bow and resting the palm of your other hand on the top of the arrow, with the arrow’s tip placed in the center of the wooden branch.

4. Move the bow back and forth in order to spin the arrow and begin drilling out your pipe stem. Stop periodically to clear out the shavings. Continue until you reach the end of your branch. Blow through the newly created pipe stem to clear any residual shavings.

Source: ehow Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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