Four Winds Ceremonial Pipes
These Lakota pipes are hand made of solid sacred catlinite (pipestone) by fifth generation Oglala Lakota pipe maker Alan Monroe (read about Alan). The catlinite was quarried from Alan Monroe's claim at Pipestone National Monument in Pipestone Minnesota. The finished pipe has been buffed and polished to a high gloss with beeswax. Each pipe is signed by the artist and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity. The measurements listed are approximated to the nearest 1/8".
Each pipe bowl is hand made and shaped to use the piece of catlinite to its best advantage. Some catlinite has lighter areas, striations, or spots (called "power spots"). These variations are considered special and even sacred by many.
The rings in these pipes represent the Four Winds (read about Four Winds). All of the pipes are buffed to a high gloss and polished with beeswax.
The hole for the stem insert is approximately 1/2" diameter¯ at the opening and tapers smaller as it goes toward the stack. Ash Stems Sold Separately Here
YOU PRAY WITH THIS PIPE, YOU PRAY FOR AND WITH EVERYTHING.”
Paula says - The quarries at Pipestone National Monument are sacred to many people because the pipestone quarried here is carved into pipes used for prayer. Many believe that the pipe’s smoke carries one’s prayer to the Great Spirit. The traditions of quarrying and pipemaking continue today. Read more about Sacred Red Pipestone from Minnesota on my blog."
The first wind is the WEST, Yata. This is where Wakinyan (the Thunderbird) lives. It is where all animals are created and the West Wind is present when man and animals die. The West Wind is strong and mighty but good natured. It is where the sun goes to rest. The eagle is the akicita (marshall) of the West Wind.
The second wind is the NORTH, Woziya. The tonweyapi of the North are the white owl, raven and wolf. Tonweyapi are aides – they can be marshalls, soldiers, spies or counselors. The North Wind is strong and usually cruel but occasionally jolly. The things he touches grow cold and die. The North Wind decides if the dead people are worthy to pass or wander forever cold, hungry and naked.
The third wind is the EAST, Yanpa. The nighthawk is the tonweyapi of the East. The East Wind sleeps a lot. It is called on to help the sun and the dawn appear. And it gives a place for the moon to regrow. The sun and the moon know and see everything on earth and they tell it to Yanpa. Lodges face east to please Yanpa. The East Wind is evoked by the sick asking for a rest.
The fourth wind is the SOUTH, Okaga. The tonweyapi of the south are waterfowl and the meadowlark. The South wind makes beautiful things, flowers and seeds. It is the giver of life. It is kind and brings good weather. The south is a place where spirits can go after death.
The winds are sometimes at odds with each other over women or other things. Iktomi (spider wakan) purposely stirs up trouble among the Four Winds so he can have fun watching them fight.
Alan Monroe creates his Northern Plains artwork from hides, stone, leather, and wood. He learned the basics of quill working, weaponry, sculpting and pipe making from traditional and contemporary artisans in his family circle. He is a fifth generation pipe maker and considered by many to be a master pipe maker. In his sculptures, Monroe works with a variety of materials such as pipestone, bone, wood and alabaster. He creates small objects like fetishes to large pieces than can weigh hundreds of pounds. Al Monroe's work can be seen in many galleries and museums across the country and he has won many awards. Al Monroe was born in Hot Springs , South Dakota and is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. He graduated from Hot Springs High School and studied business and art in Nebraska, Tennessee, and South Dakota.
to Prepare a Pipe for Smoking
Important - How to insert the stem into the pipe.
CAUTION - Never roughly jam the stem insert into the pipe hole. If you force the insert into the barrel, you could break the pipe.
If you treat a pipe with respect, it will last a long time.
A certain number of pinches of the smoking mixture are added to the bowl in ceremony. Each pinch is smudged before loading in the bowl. (Read about smudging.)
The smoking of the pipe generally consists of puffing on it, not inhaling it. It is viewed as a means of sending one's prayers to the Great Spirit and making a connection between the earthly world and the spiritual world.
As the pipe is passed, one holds the pipe in the left hand while using the right hand to wave the smoke over the top of one's own head as a blessing. When speaking to the Great Spirit, often the stem of the pipe is pointed toward the sky.
In the hands of a medicine man, his sacred pipe is full of mysterious power and able to accomplish many things for the health, safety and well-being of his people.
When smoking is finished, the pipe is again treated with great respect as the bowl is cleaned, the stem is detached from the bowl, the pipe is blessed and stored in its special bundle or pouch.
According to Native American tradition, once a pipe has been smoked and blessed the first time, the bowl and stem of the pipe should only be joined for smoking. When they are joined, during smoking, the spirit of the pipe is released. After the ceremony, the bowl should be separated from the stem and they should be stored that way. If you store or display a pipe with the stem and bowl connected, the spirit is free to roam.
The Offering Pipe is a small scale, less expensive version of the Sacred Pipe and is meant to be used as an offering or give-away.
In many cultures, offerings are left at sacred sites and as a gift to the Spirits. In Native American culture, offerings might be left each time someone passes a certain way or takes water from a spring or stones from a mine. An offering can also be left for a person (alive or dead) or for a Spirit as a symbol of thanks and respect. The offering might be tobacco, food, money, flowers, craftwork or special objects. When a person goes on a Vision Quest the pipe that he smoked during that time would be one of the greatest offerings he could make to the Spirits. The Offering Pipe by Alan Monroe is perfect for such uses. When left as an offering, the pipe is separated from the stem and traditionally wrapped in red cloth which represents the red road or the good path. The bundle can be tucked in a rock crevice or a tree at the appropriate location.
A Give-Away Pipe also has tradition in Native American culture. When someone dies, there is a ceremony similar to a wake where people come to pay respects to the departed. Sometimes an Offering Pipe is placed in the casket for burial with the deceased. (See above.) Also, the family passes out gifts to family and friends at this time as a symbol of the tradition of giving away some of the deceased's belongings. This is where a Give-Away pipe might be used.
A year after the person has passed, a feast is held in the person's honor and the rest of the person's belongings are given away. This is another instance where a Give-Away pipe would be suitable to exchange between family and friends of the deceased.
If you are looking for an Offering Pipe or Give-Away Pipe, see above.
For a personal pipe, generally the L-shaped bowls are thought to be for a woman, a single man or for an everyday smoking pipe.
The T-shaped bowls are for a man or a family pipe. The nose of the pipe represents a man coming of age.
The animal effigy pipes are for those who have aligned with a particular animal spirit.
The pipes we sell at Horsekeeping.com are new pipes. They have not been smoked or blessed.
Thank you to Alan Monroe, fourth generation Oglala Lakota pipe maker from South Dakota, for his amazing high quality pipes and works of art and for some of the information used in this article.