The Pipemaker Family Tradition



Thank You for your interest in Lakota Creations.

Here is a little information for you on our family (and business) and some of the items you will see available for purchase on the website.

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Darwin, Christine, Heather, Kala, & J.D. -Native American Pipes Ceremonial Pipes, Lakota Creations - The Pipemaker Family Tradition
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Darwin, Christine, Heather, Kala, & J.D.

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Pipestone National Monument -Native American Pipes Ceremonial Pipes, Lakota Creations - The Pipemaker Family Tradition
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Pipestone National Monument
My wife and I have been making pipes together for about as long as we`ve known each other. My wife grew up in a pipe-making family. She is a 5th generation Native American pipemaker enrolled in the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe. Her grandfather was instrumental in helping preserve the Sacred Quarries for use by present day Native Americans. The Sacred Quarries lie on what is now called the Pipestone National Monument and was formally the Pipestone Reservation.

This land has been set aside by the federal government so that any Native American, that is enrolled in a federally recognized tribe, can apply for a permit, and if granted that permit, can quarry catlinite, just as it has been quarried for 100's of years. (using only hand tools such as shovels, sledge hammers, picks, wedges, etc..) Pipestone National Monument over the years has become a tourist destination.

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Little Feather -Native American Pipes Ceremonial Pipes, Lakota Creations - The Pipemaker Family Tradition
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Little Feather
I became seriously involved in pipe-making after being taken "under the wing" by her uncle, Little Feather. (a 4th generation pipemaker) He was a master carver who was so good, it seemed to me that he could "put stone back on a pipe", if a mistake had been made. It seemed to me that he could do anything with a piece of Pipestone.

Little Feather & I spent day and night together. We would shoot pool or play cards at night, and when morning came, whoever got up first would go wake the other up, and we would start working on pipes again. We lived right next to one another. My wife, at this time, did almost all of the sanding, polishing, and shining up of the pipes. She also sanded and beaded all of the stems. I would cut the pipes out, do some of the shaping and Little Feather would do the "finer" points of shaping.

Little Feather was killed suddenly in a house fire, one night after we had been out shooting pool, in 1987.

Within a couple days, a man stopped over at our house, and asked if we could fill a pipe order that Little Feather was going to have done for him. We obliged him, and continued to make pipes together ever since. I had to learn a lot of things, just by recalling how Little Feather would do things. Even long after his death, there have been many times when, I feel he is right there helping.

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Heather, Kala, & J.D. -Native American Pipes Ceremonial Pipes, Lakota Creations - The Pipemaker Family Tradition
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Heather, Kala, & J.D.
Since that time, our children have grown, with the oldest, Heather, getting married in 2004. Heather and her husband Jayson have been very busy and now have 3 children. Jozilyn (4)Carson (18 mths)and Weston(3 mths) Heather graduated in 2005 from a Jr. College after completing her internship at an elementary school where she worked with young children. They live in a small town near us so we get to see the grandkids a lot. It's not uncommon for Heather and the kids to visit 4 or 5 days a week while Jayson is working.
Our middle child, Kala is working in a bar/restaurant in the Kansas City area. She lives there with her fiancee (Scott), his daugher Issabella, and their new little baby, Jackson. (Our 4th grandchild) We don't get to see Kala quite as often as what we'd like, but she/they come back here whenever they can, and we try to frequently visit them in Kansas City also.

The kids were involved with the pipemaking ever since they were probably 7 years old. We can remember when they were 1 & 2 and would be sleeping or playing in the grass, while myself, Christine, and Little Feather worked on pipes.....so, they have literally grown up with it. When the kids were younger, they would help sand and polish, and the girls also helped with the beadwork occasionally. J.D. (Loud Thunder) is really the only one of our children who has continued to be involved in the business and in making ceremonial pipes.

Our youngest... and only son, JD is a paramedic and works on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. He gets his 40+ hours/week in the matter of just a few days. He lives right here in Jasper when he isn't working, so we get to see him quite frequently also.

Before JD was so busy with his paramedic work, he did make an occasional pipe. He is/was quite good at it and we're hoping that he'll get back into it as time goes by.

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J.D. Helping Quarry Sacred Catlinite -Native American Pipes Ceremonial Pipes, Lakota Creations - The Pipemaker Family Tradition
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J.D. Helping Quarry Sacred Catlinite
Pipe-making is very much a dying art. The youth (J.D. & his cousins) in our family and community are unfortunately, not showing the interest in it that we would like to see. Hopefully, as time goes on, that will start to change. If it doesn`t, it will not be too many years, and the art of pipemaking may be a thing of the past.

If you have purchased or decide to purchase a pipe from either us or J.D., you are helping to maintain a family tradition and more importantly helping maintain a culture, by assuring that high quality pipes will continue to be made available for ceremony.


Thank You for your interest in the things that we love to create!

Darwin J. & Christine Wallenburg

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