An enslaved person could get buckles and other accessories in a number of ways. While most objects were likely gifts from the Washington family, slaves could also purchase them using money they earned outside the plantation.
Carving stone pipes required more skill than creating clay pipes. There are three phases of stone pipe production: carving the rough outer shape, drilling a hole for the bowl, and drilling a hole for the stem. A close look at this object reveals that the hole for the bowl broke through the bottom, leaving the pipe blank useless as final pipe.
Enslaved peoples carved these stone pipes, either to use themselves, share with friends and family, or to sell. Most of the sites where archeologists have discovered stone pipes in central Virginia are tied in some way to Thomas Jefferson’s plantations. These stone pipes corroborate other evidence of ties of friendship, marriage, and family ties between enslaved and free African Americans in various locations in the 18th and 19th centuries.