However much you may think you have known about the early use of shell hairpipes, the "singular" pivotal interaction of a trader to the Ponca Indians in 1880 and Ponca Chief White Eagle that led to the manufacture and trade of the cheaper and stronger bone hairpipe, clearly illustrates what can happen through trade when one culture listens to another.
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Hairpipes Reflect Evolution of Native American Material Culture
A very popular trade item, hairpipe has been in use since prehistoric times. Early forms were native produced from the columns of marine conch shells and were gradually replaced by glass, brass and silver. Eastern wampum manufacturers produced shell hairpipe from the Western Indian conch sometime between 1776 and 1798 and these were carried by the Lewis & Clark expedition, the Northwest Co., and Auguste Chouteau as trade goods. Bone hairpipe appeared around 1880, after a trader among the Poncas discovered that bone pipe stems from corn cob pipes were in demand as hairpipe. They were then produced in quantity in the shape of the old shell hairpipe and have been popular ever since.
Offering Hairpipes in Variety of Materials & Colors
Crazy Crow Trading Post offers everything you need for great looking chokers, breastplates and other craft projects: bone hairpipe, buffalo horn and natural horn hairpipe, imitation hairpipe beads in white, red & blue. Chose from a huge selection of glass and metal beads to complete your project. Don't forget to take a look at our breastplate and choker kits, too.