To the Native Americans, growing tobacco was a sacred ritual. Smoking the pipe was a serious matter. It was not done casually. If a man or group of men took up the pipe, it was for the purpose of meditating and praying to resolve a problem that they might be confronted with. In other words, by smoking they hoped to gain wisdom. Incidentally, the tobacco tamper that the man is using is Sioux and dates from the mid-19th century. It is beautifully carved and wrapped with dyed porcupine quills.