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Old 09-15-2018, 11:18 AM   #1
Stephan Grundy
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Pipes in Apache tradition

Hello all,

I am about to start growing my own tobacco for purposes of prayer, and therefore wish to make a *personal* pipe (I am not now, nor am I ever likely to be, suited or qualified to lead a group ceremony; though my limited understanding thus far indicates that the ceremonial position of "pipe-bearer" is primarily Lakota and, if I am correct, was not known among the Apache in any case, the frequent gross misuse of the role of "pipe-bearer" by people of questionable nature causes me to want to make my position very clear on this).
However, since I was raised white and am largely ignorant of the culture of that strain of my ancestry, I am very concerned about not making errors which might offend in any spiritual manner. As this pipe is solely for my very private use, I am not so worried about inadvertently offending human tribal members, who are unlikely ever to see or hear of it; but I am very concerned indeed about the possibility of inadvertently causing offence in the spiritual realm.
If there is anyone who would be willing to give me guidelines in terms of Apache pipe making, usage, and adornment, I would appreciate it. I am given to understand that the pipe must always be cleansed and treated with the greatest respect, and that the stem and the bowl should be kept separate when they are not in use. I regret to say that, due to the bigotry of that side of my white family in Texas, who have vigorously resisted giving us crucial information, I do not know which Apache group we stem from; please forgive me for being non-specific.
Particular questions which have come to my mind: what woods are considered most appropriate for the stem? Also, I know that historically catlinite was used in some Apache pipes (horribly, there is a catlinite pipe which belonged to Geronimo that is now in inappropriate hands) and that there are several Apache craftsmen working with it today; but given its high significance to, for instance, the Lakota, I am keen to make sure that there is no problem with myself using it for this purpose.
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