New state symbol may be on the way

Jane BeathardOhio has an official state tree, wildflower, fruit, bird, mammal, reptile and other symbols unique to the Buckeye State. It may also soon get an official state artifact.

House Bill 43, introduced into the general assembly on Feb. 12 by Reps. John Carney and Mike Duffey, will elevate the Adena Pipe to that position. H.B. 43 is currently under consideration by the state and local government committee.

According to the Ohio Historical Society, the Adena Pipe is a tubular pipe carved from Ohio pipestone into an effigy of a Native American man wearing ear spools and a loincloth with a feather bustle attached to the back.

In 1901, William C. Mills, curator of archaeology for the Ohio State Archaeology and Historical Society, discovered the pipe in the Adena Mound in Chillicothe. The mound, a Native American burial site, is located on land once owned by Thomas Worthington. Worthington is considered the father of Ohio statehood.

The Adena people lived in the region between 800 B.C. and 100 A.D. Tubular tobacco pipes were common among these ancient Ohioans, but pipes depicting humans were rare. It’s likely the Adena Pipe belonged to a high-ranking man of his era.

“The Adena Effigy Pipe connects us with Ohio’s past and bridges the gulf of time between ancient American Indian cultures and the present day,” according to the historical society’s Web site.

Students from the Columbus School for Girls researched the pipe as part of a classroom exercise. That research turned into a project to honor the Adena Pipe as the state artifact.

Carney is a Democrat and Duffey is a Republican, indicating H.B. 43 has bipartisan support.

Additional information about the Adena Pipe is available at http://ohiohistory.prod.mindson.bridgelinedigital.net/collections—archives/archaeology/adena-pipe

Here’s a list of Ohio’s official state symbols:

Tree: Ohio buckeye

Flower: Scarlet carnation

Wildflower: large white trillium

Bird: cardinal

Mammal: white-tailed deer

Reptile: black racer

Insect: ladybug

Fossil: isotelus maximus trilobite

Gem stone: Ohio flint

Fruit: tomato

Beverage: tomato juice

Groundhog: Buckeye Chuck

Song: Beautiful Ohio

Rock Song: Hang On Sloopy

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