Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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paipak “pipe”
Language: Qawiaraq Iñupiaq

When they put their tobacco in there to smoke it, they’d just take a little pinch, just a small one, and they stuffed that in there…He’d puff that. But you never saw smoke coming out of their nostrils – they’d swallow it.

—Jacob Ahwinona, 2001

Iñupiaq men and women both used snuff or chewing tobacco, while most smokers traditionally were men. A pipe was prepared by placing a little tuft of fur in the bottom of the bowl as a filter, then adding a small amount of finely cut tobacco and lighting it with a match or burning coal. This wooden pipe has a bowl of carved stone and a mouthpiece made from a brass rifle cartridge and a thimble.

Culture: Iñupiaq
Region: Norton Sound, Alaska
Village: Port Clarence
Object Category: Tobacco
Dimensions: Length 30cm
Accession Date: 1879
Source: E. W. Nelson (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E038788