Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

tobacco tamper
  • unknown Lakota maker
  • tobacco tamper, 1861–1889
  • Where object was made: Fort Yates, Dakota Territory (present-day North Dakota), United States
  • wood, porcupine quills, buckskin, tin, feathers, dyeing
  • Object Length: 37.5 cm
    Object Length: 14 3/4 in
  • Gift of H. Greissinger
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0461

This long, thin wooden implement looks like a knitting needle with a pointed end and a knob at the other end. The half of the shaft near the knob is recessed to accomodate a quill wrapping, though only about 2/3 of it is currently wrapped with red quills. White quills (wrapped around a buckskin strip) are wrapped around the knob at the end, with three buckskin fringes, each wrapped with red quills. One ends with two tin cones with red feather tufts, one has one tin cone with a red feather, and the third fringe is broken at the end and has lost its decoration.