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Artifacts - Ceremonial Objects

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Click an artifact's image or name to view it.

Calumet
circa 1675
This pipe bowl would originally have been attached to a stem or shaft. The term calumet, derived from the French word for pipe or pipestem, refers to the entire pipe.
Crucifix
1738
The crucifix was an important symbol for missionaries hoping to explain their doctrine to Native Americans.
Deer Antler Headdress
circa 1775 - 1800
This rare headdress is made of the whole headskin of a deer and is bordered by a band of hide decorated with quillwork.
Eunice Mather Williams's Gravestone
1729
This gravestone of Eunice Mather Williams (1664-1704) was placed by her children in 1729.
French Royal Crest
circa 1727
The decorative French Royal Crest symbolized the power of the King of France.
Ostensor or Monstrance
circa 1668
An ostensor or monstrance is a receptacle in which the Host is displayed for adoration during the Catholic Mass.
Otterskin Bag
late 18th century
Following contact with European explorers and traders, Native Americans began incorporating metals such as brass, copper and tin into traditional art forms and objects such as this otterskin bag.
Pewter Flagon
1680 - 1700
This imported pewter flagon held the communion wine shared among the "visible saints" of the First Church of Deerfield, Massachusetts, that is, those men and women who had had a certifiable conversion experience and made a public profession of faith.
Wampum Belt
circa 1701
This wampum belt is thought to have been presented as a token of good faith during the signing of the Great Peace Treaty of 1701.
Wampum Strings
Contact Period
Strings of wampum like these served as more than just a medium of exchange for Native Americans.

 

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