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In this pipe, a large bear is shown in the apparent act of devouring a human being, a common symbol for the spiritual transformation of a shamanic initiate. The image represents the shaman’s symbolic crossing of the boundary of death into the spirit world. The carving of the bear itself is very straightforward and naturalistic. The wear and polish of the surfaces that developed over time on many of these pipes are testimony to their long history and respectful place within the traditional culture.
depth 4 in ; height 3.875 in ; width 1.625 in