Argillite Ship Pipe (made for sale)

First Nation
Northwest Coast


early 19th century

Green argillite or soapstone

Overall: 1 15/16 × 1 × 4 13/16 in. (4.9 × 2.5 × 12.2 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College



Place Made: Haida Gwaii, Canada, North America


19th century

Object Name

Personal Gear: Pipe

Research Area

Native American

Native American: Northwest Coast

On view


Artists from different nations and backgrounds made the small boats and other artworks in this case. Before cars, trains, and planes, boats connected the world. These objects reflect the global movement of peoples and trade between Indigenous and Colonial nations.

White protestant and catholic missionaries sailed around the globe attempting to convert Indigenous peoples to western religions. The upright (and uptight) missionary figures appear stiff and unmoving, perhaps reflecting the maker’s opinion that colonizing missionaries failed to fully appreciate the complexity of Haida culture.

The necklaces are made from dentalium, a narrow white seashell harvested by Indigenous peoples along the western coast of North America. Indigenous Americans traded dentalium across the continent, exchanging it for turquoise from the Southwest or dyes and hides from other regions. Dentalium’s movement reflects a history of complex international trade between Indigenous Nations that predates the arrival of European colonizers.

From the 2023 exhibition Liquidity: Art, Commodities, and Water, curated by Michael Hartman, Jonathan Little Cohen Associate Curator of American Art

Course History

First Year Student Enrichment Program - Cultures, Identities and Belongings, Francine A'Ness, Summer 2023

Anthropology 55.01, Anthropology of Global Health, Anne Sosin, Fall 2023

Anthropology 55.01, Anthropology of Global Health, Anne Sosin, Fall 2023

Art History 40.01, American Art and Identity, Mary Coffey, Fall 2023

Creative Writing 10.02, Writing and Reading Fiction, Katherine Crouch, Fall 2023

Geography 11.01, Qualitative Methods, Emma Colven, Fall 2023

Geography 2.01, Introduction to Human Geography, Coleen Fox, Fall 2023

Geography 31.01, Postcolonial Geographies, Erin Collins, Fall 2023

English 30.01, African and African American Studies 34.01, Early Black American LIterature, Michael Chaney, Winter 2024

Writing 5.06, Image and Text, Becky Clark, Winter 2024

Writing 5.07, Image and Text, Becky Clark, Winter 2024

Exhibition History

Liquidity: Art, Commodities, and Water, Israel Sack Gallery and the Rush Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, July 29, 2023-June 16, 2024.

Publication History

[Northern, Tamara]. "Native American Art". Hanover, New Hamp[Northern, Tamara]. "Native American Art". Hanover, New Hampshire: Hood Museum of Art, page 14 . (Published in conjunctionwith Gutman Gallery opening exhibition)


Source unknown; catalogued, 1913.

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