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Horse Effigy Pipebowl

Sioux Lakota, Plains

Carved catlinite
Circa 1880s
Length: 8 ¾ in. (22 cm)

Ex collection Helene Sage, New Mexico

Currently on loan at Museu Valencià d’Etnologia
(Ethnology Museum, Valencia, Spain)

Exhibition & Literature:
“Beyond Hollywood: American Indian Identities”, June-December 2018

Price: sold

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“Before talking of holy things, we prepare ourselves by offerings. One will fill his pipe and hand it to the other who will light it and offer it to the sky
and earth. They will smoke together. Then they will be ready to talk.” Mato-Kuwapi (Chased by Bears), a Santee-Yanktoni (Sioux) warrior. We

This Sioux figural catlinite sculpture is known as an ”arched-neck horse head and saddle pipe-bowl”. Calumets were the most sacred objects among the Plains Indians. They were used in times of war and times of peace to ensure protection and success.
This is a superb early example circa 1880s.
It depicts a charging horse with minute incised details (saddle, legs, …)
This bowl is clearly the work of a master carver. The horse has a great movement and dynamism to it.
In terms of aesthetics, age and quality, this pipebowl is closely related to two examples illustrated in Plains Indian Sculpture: A Traditional Art from America's Heartland, John C. Ewers, Smithsonian Books,1986, figures 65 et 66.
This pipe bowl originally came from the celebrated collection of Helene Sage (New Mexico).