You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share


Mothers often used long-stemmed pipes like this because they helped direct smoke away from the babies they carried on their backs. Carved by men, pipes were used by both men and women. A female maker added beaded fringe using a color scheme typical of Xhosa beadwork. The miniature apron suspended from the fringe suggests a woman’s garment, and thus ownership of this pipe. Social and leisure practices, smoking and snuffing tobacco were also associated with the ancestors and with ideas of fertility and procreation. Inherited between individuals and families, pipes have connected clans and generations and thus linked the worldly present with the ancestral past.



Africa, Southern Africa, South Africa, Xhosa-style maker(s)

Visually Similar Artworks

ArtLens App

Let the ArtLens App be your guide, featuring an interactive map, every artwork on view, and AR scanning. Keep track of your favorite artworks. Take a guided tour, or create your own. 

Download the App

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.