Transcribed from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.


Calumet.—Among the Indians of North America, especially the tribes inhabiting the Mississippi valley and the region about the great lakes, the "Calumet" was an important ceremonial observance on various occasions. The word, however, is not of Indian origin, being derived from the Norman word "chalumeau," the name of a rustic pipe or musical instrument used by the Norman shepherds in the rural festivities. The early Norman-French settlers of Canada applied it to the ceremonial pipe of the Indians, and in time it came into general use, but was corrupted into the "calumet." Many people have the impression that the calumet was purely a "peace pipe," but as a matter of fact it was as often used as a "war pipe." The bowl of the pipe was usually made of clay or some soft stone, larger than the ordinary individual tobacco pipe. The stem was a hollow cane, reed, or twig of some tree from which the pith had been removed, and was generally a yard or more in length. In the councils of a tribe the calumet was a method of expressing opinion. When the question of proclaiming war was before the council, the stem of the pipe was decorated with the feathers of the eagle, hawk, or some bird of prey. The pipe was filled with tobacco and passed among the warriors. Those who accepted it took a solemn puff or two, thus proclaimed themselves in favor of war, while those who merely passed it on to their next neighbor, without touching the stem with their lips, expressed themselves as opposed to hostilities. If the pipe was used to vote on a peace treaty, or some similar question, the stem was decorated with the feathers of the water-fowl, or some song bird of a retiring, peaceful disposition.

Among the Indians the ceremony of smoking the peace calumet was often accompanied by singing and dancing. Charlevoix tells how "The Osages send once or twice a year to sing the calumet among the Kaskasquias," and soon after Iberville landed at Biloxi bay and began the erection of Fort Maurepas, in 1699, the neighboring tribes assembled at the fort and spent three days in singing, dancing and smoking the calumet. When the commissioners of the United States concluded a treaty of peace with some Indian tribe, the ceremony generally closed by passing around the calumet decorated as a pipe of peace, and it is probably due to this fact that the pipe has come to he regarded by so many as an emblem of peace.

Page 273 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.

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VOLUME I

TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
INTRODUCTION

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I

VOLUME II

TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

J | K | L | Mc | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

VOLUME III

BIOGRAPHICAL INDEXES


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