Encyclopedia Article


A type of rock also known as steatite, which has a high content of talc and a texture that is relatively soft and therefore conducive to stone carving. With prolonged exposure to air, it hardens and its natural gray, green or brown color darkens. Soapstone was used by indigenous peoples throughout the Americas to make ceremonial objects, bowls, pipes, and fetishes.

Photo Credit: 

"A raven effigy pipe carved out of soapstone, on view at the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, Ross County, Ohio" by Rdikeman is licensed under CC BY-SA.

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