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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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the "pipe of peace" (sometimes of war), in use among the North American Indians, is regarded by them with the utmost veneration, and believed to have been presented to them by the sun. "It is a great smoking-pipe, of red, white, or black marble. It is very much, like a pole - axe, has a very smooth head, and the tube, which is about two feet and a half long, is made of a quite strong reed or cane, set off with feathers of different colors, and several plaits made of woman's hair, variously interwoven. To this they fix two wings, which makes it something like Mercury's caduceus, or the wand which ambassadors of peace held formerly in their hands. They thrust this reed through the necks of huars, which are birds speckled with black and white, and about the size of our geese, or through the necks of a certain kind of ducks. These ducks are of three or four different colors. Every nation adorns the calumet as custom or their own fancy suggest. The calumet is a passport to all who go to the allies of such nations as send it. It is a symbol of peace, and the natives are universally of opinion that some great misfortune would befall any person who would violate the faith of it. It is the seal of all undertakings, of all important affairs and public ceremonies" (Father Hennepin),

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Calumet,'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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