Bird / Water Bird Tamper
Paula says - "This tamper was handmade by fifth generation Lakota pipe maker Alan Monroe of solid sacred catlinite from Alan's own mine at Pipestone National Monument in Pipestone Minnesota. The stone has been buffed and polished to a high gloss with beeswax."
Peyote Bird or Water Bird?
The Water Bird is a symbol of the renewal of life, rainy seasons, rivers, distant travel, distant vision & wisdom. It is often also referred to as the Peyote Bird because the Water Bird plays a significant part in the Native American Indian Church Peyote meetings and, in fact, since the early 1900's has been the symbol of the NAC.
The Peyote/Water Bird is not a Southwest tradition, but one of the Plains Indians. The Peyote Bird is connected with lightning, thunder and visions. Those who dream of the thunder beings will become Heyokas, those who do things backwards, upside down, or opposite. This is a Lakota way of being. It is part of the medicine of the Heyoka to remind us that we should not take ourselves too seriously - that's why Heyoka is often translated as the "sacred clown". Read more about peyote bird . . .
Pipe Tampers - There are a number of different pipe tools that can be used depending on the smoking mixture. These include the pick and the tamper. A pick stirs up the smoking mixture, giving it more air so it will burn more readily and quickly. It can also be used to clean the pipe bowl. A tamper packs the smoking mixture down so it burns more evenly and more slowly.
As far as Native American pipe tools, the pick was traditionally a pointed wooden stick used to clean the pipe bowl and stir the herbs and grasses. After tobacco was introduced, tampers were made to press the tobacco tightly in the bowl so it would burn slower and stay lit.
Alan Monroe, Lakota artist began making catlinite tampers about 20 years ago. They are made of solid sacred catlinite from Alan's own mine at Pipestone National Monument in Pipestone Minnesota. The stone has been buffed and polished to a high gloss with beeswax.
They range in style from simple to very ornate. Small to quite large and heavy. Plain or in the image of an animal effigy. Each tamper has a hole drilled in it so that a leather thong, feather, horsehair or other adornment can be attached to the tamper. We offer tampers with a simple buckskin lace and glass crow beads but these can easily be embellished or removed to make the tamper reflect your unique personality.