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The Steven Michaan Collection of North American Tribal Art : The Art of the Spirit World : Woodlands

Northeast Woodlands
Woodwind Blow Pipe
Wood, Birch Bark & Pewter Inlay, 14” Length, c.1840

Northeast Woodlands Woodwind Blow Pipe
Northeast Woodlands Woodwind Blow Pipe

Singing, chanting and the playing of instruments played an integral role in Woodlands ceremonies and rituals. The Iroquois referred to these woodwind instruments as, Ya-o-da-was-ta or a “blow-pipe.” The use of birch and the pewter inlay is characteristic of the Northeastern tribes.

The anthropologist Lewis H. Morgan wrote, “As played by the Indians, it affords a species of wild and plaintive music.” (Tooker, On Iroquois Material Culture, 1994).