Pipe, Kaolin


White clay pipe sherds were found in greater quantities at San Bernabe, Tayasal.


“White clay pipes are common Colonial artifacts among all social statuses as they were cheap and easy to acquire (Noël Hume 1970: 296-313). Indigenous people throughout North, Central, and South America practiced tobacco smoking and this type of pipe seems to have been a European modification of an indigenous form.   White clay pipes began to be used around AD 1580 to 1590 (Noël Hume 1970: 303; Deetz 1977: 19-20)” (Pugh 2001).

“A kaolin pipe-stem fragment also lay in the refuse deposit behind Structure 615, several meters south of the pieces of metal (see Figures 5 and 7). The stem’s bore diameter of 2.9 millimeters suggests a production date between C.E. 1600 and 1680, although a single representative cannot accurately define chronology (Deetz 1996:26–29; Hume 1969:296–297). English and Dutch colonists began smoking tobacco with kaolin pipes in the late 16th century when they adopted pipe use from indigenous North Americans. Spanish colonial pipe use was “extremely rare” before the 18th century, as the Spaniards appropriated Caribbean and Mesoamerican practices—cigars and snuff (Deagan 2002:310)” (Pugh 2009).