Elbow or L-Bowl pipes have been around for a long, long, time. They are not specific to the “Plains” tribes like many of our pipes that are available for purchase are. There have been many pipes of this style found in excavations and by individuals that are 100’s of years old.
We occasionally make elbow pipes that are fashioned after some of these older pipes that have been found, but most of the pipes on this site will be a variation of the style used by many Plains tribes.
From the information I have heard and have been able to gather, elbow pipes among the Plains Indians were most often used for casual smoking. The stems on these pipes would be made as long or as short as needed so that when the individual who was using the pipe was sitting on the ground, he or she could simply rest the pipe bowl on the ground when it was being smoked.
If any of the elbow pipes we have for sale on this site are fashioned after an authenticated old pipe that we’ve seen in a book, magazine, or other publication, we will make note of the publication that the picture can be found in, and you will find that in the description for that particular pipe. If it’s a pipe that interests you, then you can go to the publication noted and see how closely it resembles the antique pipe.
The larger and medium sized Elbow pipes, that you’ll see on this site, will make great pipes for ceremony. Even though this type of pipe was used a lot for casual smoking in yesteryears, the are quite commonly used for ceremony in modern times. The smaller versions of this style are often purchased when an individual wants to gift a personal pipe to someone. i.e. a pipe that will be used for prayer by a single individual or maybe occasionally with a close friend.
If you see a thumbnail of a pipe that you interests you, or you think you might want to purchase, just click on the thumbnail and you will be able to get more information about that particular pipe.