has been a rumor going around for years that the Native people
in Pipestone are making a lot of money from selling the sacred
stone. The Original Dakota Community in Pipestone were always
puzzled by that as none of them have ever made money through
the stone. They are barely reaching the bread-line. They were
called names by other tribal people, and were told that they
were desecrating the sacred quarries, they wondered where
these stories were coming from, and then realized that it
wasn't them and the sacred quarries that these stories were
being told about but the Jasper quarry and the man who owned
course those who don't know the area think that all quarries
are in Pipestone, and that they are one and the same. There
is a lot of confusion in Indian country about the quarries.
Many Native Americans really believe that the quarries are
being ruined; desecrated by the quarriers. That is because
they have never been to Pipestone to see with their own eyes
what is there. Had they gone to see they would have found
small quarries, tucked away in the underbrush, these quarries
are mostly just big enough for a man to fit into and swing
a hammer. Some have room for a couple of people, and a few
are large enough for a number of people to work at the same
time. In the old days one of the quarries, the Co-operative
quarry was worked by a lot of people, but now that quarry
is no longer used. Below is a map of the Monument area including
done in the quarries is done with respect, the earth is moved
away quietly, the quartzite is broken by using wedges and
hammers, the only sound heard is the tap, tap, tap, of the
hammer hitting the wedge. The broken quartz is then removed
and gradually layer by layer the quartzite is thrown onto
a pile and the pipestone layer is exposed. This can take weeks
to complete. Every part of this work is done quietly, disturbing
nothing but the area being worked on. Mother Earth is left
to stay in peace. This process has been going on for centuries,
and each time the quarry is used it moves only a few feet
forward. The discarded rocks are placed on the same pile that
people have been using for hundreds of years. A low pile that
covers the length of the quarries.
the Jasper quarries a tractor with a back hoe is used to tear
open the Mother Earth, and break the quartzite up, then a
uni-loader removes the broken stone and then brings up the
red stone. It probably takes about a day to do all that. The
Earth is traumatized and the stone is not treated with reverence.
This red stone is then transported all over the country to
rock shops and pow wows. It is being advertised on the Internet
now as well.
if this man wishes to sell the red stone, then that is his
right as he owns it, but he should not be passing it off as
the sacred stone. People who believe that it comes from the
Pipestone quarries will try to make a Pipe for a ceremony,
only to find that the stone is fractured because of the harsh
treatment it has received. They then call up the Little Feather
Center to complain about it. We get hundreds of calls a year
from people dissatisfied with the stone they have. When we
ask where they got it we are always told, 'From a rock
shop' near to where they live. We know immediately they say
they are dissatisfied that it is not true Pipestone (Catlinite).
Catlinite doesn't disappoint.
feel bad for the thousands of people worldwide who are buying
this stone under the impression that:
it is Catlinite,
that it has been removed with respect, and
3. that it has sacred properties.
do Ceremony with such stone would be so detrimental to the
person using the item. The true stone has been given the quarrier's
prayers, love and respect, as it has been located and removed.
The look alike has to be crying out in anguish from the treatment
it has received in it's removal.
be careful when you get stone and if possible get stone from
a member of the 'Pipestone Quarrier's Guild' which
has been formed to combat this problem.
does not disappoint!