People used clay to make ceramic platform pipes. Platform pipes are common at Hopewell sites. Yet, there are some differences between pipes found at sites in the eastern versus western Midwest. The Marksville pipes more closely resemble pipes found at Hopewell sites in Illinois and Missouri. However, they tend to be more flat at their base than those Hopewell pipes. In addition, pipes found farther north tend to be made of stone, not clay.
Healers could have used these pipes in ceremonies to heal people’s bodies and spirits. People with high status or rank could have also used them for special or sacred events. In historic times, pipes were often used to declare war or peace. North American Indians also smoked pipes to show respect to foreign leaders. Perhaps similar customs were common at Marksville.
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