Anglo American Pipestone National Monument


Pipestone National Monument

posted by Wayne Hsieh alias www78 on Tuesday 14th of November 2017 06:56:14 PM

Catlinite, better known as pipestone, is a metaphoric mudstone reddish in color. It is fine grained and very soft (2.5 on the Moh, scale about the strength of a fingernail), and consequently has been prized by Plains Natives, who traditionally use it to craft sacred ceremonial pipes like the chanunpa. There are only a few quarries in North America, including Pipestone National Monument, the Hayward, Wisconsin Quarry, and the Pipestone River in Ontario. The Pipestone Quarry has been used for centuries, dating back to at least the Oneota around 1600. Around 1700, the Dakota peoples took control of the site, and established it as neutral ground. Here, sacred land to many of the Plains Natives, anyone could mine for pipestone for the ceremonial pipes central to their religious practices, the smoke believed to carry prayers to the attention of the Creator. The Pipestone Quarry was first seen by Anglo-Americans in 1835, when famed Native painter George Catlin visited the quarries (pipestone is now named after him). Even under pressure from settlers, the Yankton held on to the Pipestone grounds, securing access with the US government with the 1858 Treaty With The Yankton Sioux. Finally, forced away from the nearby reservation and suffering from debts, the Yankton sold the land to the Federal government. In 1937, the area became a National Monument, and quarrying rights were restored to Natives. The most prominent landmark at Pipestone is the large Sioux Quartzite outcropping towering above the quarry sites. No pipestone is found in this layer. Pipestone National Monument, Pipestone, Minnesota


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