Islanders traded with Siberians and North American mainlanders, as well as European whalers. They were eagerly acquiring goods, reaching the Bering Strait by way of Chukchi. Pipes and tobacco were among the most sought after items. This pipe collected from St. Lawrence Island is probably a Chukchi trade piece. The stem is solid lead, and the bowl is wood with lead inlay. No where is there a record of the effects of smoking these lead pipes, but the St. Lawrence Islanders may have suffered the ill effects of lead poisoning in addition to those caused by alcohol, European diseased and hunting disasters, to which their decline has been attributed.
PERIOD: 19th CenturyORIGIN: Northwest - Alaskan, Native American
SIZE: 2 3/4" disc, 13"L