An extremely important institution among the Indians of the Southeast in the historic period, the calumet ceremony was first recognized by French adventurers in the Upper Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes region in the mid-seventeenth century. By the end of the century the ceremony was universal among Lower Mississippi Valley groups. A major focus of calumet literature in recent years has been on the timing of and the mechanism for the introduction of this ceremony in the Eastern Woodlands. Some have argued for prehistoric roots, while others have supported a historic development. A study of the spatiotemporal distribution of catlinite pipes is one way to address these issues, because such pipes are the principal archaeological expression of the ceremony. This paper focuses on the two most common catlinite pipe forms: disk pipes and elbow pipes. Overall, both forms are rare in the Southeast, but relatively they are widespread. The disk type has the greatest range and is also the earlier of the two forms, primarily being found during the protohistoric period. It is proposed here, however, that calumet introduction was coincident with the elbow catlinite form that first appeared in the Southeast in the mid-to-late seventeenth century. It is believed that calumet ceremonialism was spreading into the southern portion of the Lower Mississippi Valley at about the same time as the first French explorers were entering the area from the north.