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Catlinite, a type of pipestone, is a soft red siltstone named after the 19th century American artist, George Catlin. Catlinite outcrops occur in southwestern Minnesota, where traditional Native American quarries are preserved at the Pipestone National Monument.
Example of catlinite being outlined.

Step 1
Pipes and ornaments were first outlined into the piece of raw catlinite, using a stone tool, such as a chipped stone knife.

Example of catlinite being cut.

Step 2
Once the pipe was outlined, a sharp flake or stone knife was used to cut the rough shape from the raw block. A groove was cut around the desired shape, then pressure was applied to snap the excess material off.

Example of catlinite being rubbed on an abrasive block of quartzite or sandstone.

Step 3
The corners of the block were shaved off and the desired shape and size was achieved by rubbing the pipe on an abrasive block of quartzite or sandstone.

Example of catlinite being designed.

Step 4
Finishing touches such as fine shaping and design carving, were done with a sharp stone knife or engraving tool.

Example of catlinite being drilled to form a hole.

Step 5
The hole in the pipe bowl was formed using a chipped stone drill hafted to a thin shaft. By holding the pipe between the feet or knees, and rotating the shaft of the hafted drill between the palms of the hands, a hole was slowly formed.

In the final step, the pipe maker polished the pipe. A wooden pipe stem, possibly decorated with beads, hair, porcupine quills and leather was then inserted into the bowl.

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