industrial region NW Indiana & NE Illinois SE of & adjacent to Chicago including cities of E. Chicago, Gary, & Hammond, Indiana, & Calumet City & Lansing, Illinois
One of the central ceremonial objects of many American Indian groups. It was considered a microcosm, its parts and its decorative colours and motifs corresponding to the essential parts of the universe. It was smoked in personal prayer as well as at collective rites. Because of the narcotic effect of the tobacco and the symbolism of the indrawn and ascending smoke, the calumet was employed as a means of communication between the spirit world and humans.