Animation of the Day: Canine Effigy Smoking Pipe

by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory (VCL)

181_canine pipeToday’s animation is a clay smoking pipe that was made and used by the Susquehannock Indians during the early 1600s A.D. It represents a canine and may have been a totem animal.Ethnohistorian Matthew T. Bradley has suggested to VCL that this animal may be a fox, as the Fox clan has been documented historically among the Susquehannock (Bradley 2008:4). Unlike other smoking pipes of this period that we have scanned in the VCL, this canine looks at the smoker rather than facing away.  The pipe was recovered from a deep silo-shaped pit of the Funk Phase period (ca 1400-1550 AD.) at the Shenks Ferry (36LA2) site and is within the archaeological collections of The State Museum of Pennsylvania.  A video produced for Instagram by Archaeology in the Community in the Virtual Curation Laboratory features the VCL’s Digital Zooarchaeologist Mariana Zechini discussing the smoking pipe, using a printed version made with a MakerBot Replicator.  The InstaGram video can be found here:

Reference cited:

Bradley, Matthew Timothy
2008 The development of Iroquoian clans. Paper presented at the Conference on Iroquois Research, Rensselaerville, N.Y., October 3–5, 2008. Available online at:

Categories: 17th century, Animation of the day, Gallery, Smoking pipe, Susquehannock, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, zoomorphic | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Animation of the Day: Canine Effigy Smoking Pipe

  1. Maybe this article is relevant?

    Wonderley, Anthony. 2005. “Effigy pipes, diplomacy, and myth: exploring interaction between St. Lawrence Iroquoians and eastern Iroquois in New York State.” American Antiquity 70 (2): 211–40.

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