Buried Treasures: Herb Chambers Were Found in Africa, Asia

Buried Treasures: Herb Chambers Were Found in Africa, Asia

In today’s age of marijuana — vaporizers, bongs, and prerolls, oh my! — we hardly have to wonder how rsquo we &;re going to eat our flower. But cannabis has been around for centuries, and lots of cultures approached burning herb differently. And, believe it or not, one historical technique involved smoking cannabis straight.

Illustration of “Kaffirs [sic]smoking hemp via an abysmal ground-pipe using a jar ” by R. Caton Woodville from Illustrated London News, September 30, 1911. [1]

Remnants of this ancient practice is found in southern Africa, where the smoking technique was widespread among natives. Detailed in an Oct. 15, 1921 article from Le Meschacébé, a Louisiana newspaper, the author witnesses the structure and use of a ground pipe to smoke cannabis, known locally as dagga, by natives in South Africa:

“He scoops a pit out of the hard floor 3 to 4 inches deep by 3 inches wide. Away A foot or so from this he scoops another hole, and a channel is then bored by him underground from one to the other. There is thus a free air passage connecting the two excavations that are small.

“He places some dried dagga leaves from the first hole, lights them and covers them over with moist clay. He pierces this clay to allow a draught to go through.

“Into the other hole he inserts a small hollow reed — this is the pipe stem — squeezes moist clay around it, and on his knees begins his smoke.

The construction of these earth pipes varied slightly between Lots of the tribes in South Africa.  

One tribe hinted at the future of water pipes with the earth pipe that included “bowl” and water filtration design, according to “Internationales Archiv für Ethnographie volume XIX” printed in 1910.

Detailed several years before in 1907’s “Aus Namaland und Kalahar,” Bechuana natives would use wooden spears to form a larger passage between the holes, making a huge hit for the smoker.

“Bechuana native smoking dakka (cannabis)” from a floor pipe. Illustration from “Explorations in South-West Africa” by Thomas Baines, 1864 [2].

Earth pipes could also be found in ancient cultures across Turkestan and into central Asia.  

In Turkestan, ancient peoples smoked excavated earth pipes known locally as “yer-chilin,” which, according to Henry Balfour’s 1922 paper, “Earth Smoking Pipes from South Africa and Central Asia,”[3] literally translates to “earth pipe. ” And in an account detailed in 1894’s Illustrated Archaeologist,[4] Kashmir natives in India built an earth pipe of a layout identical to those made by South African natives.

In this Kashmir area of India, the earth pipe has been modified to allow multiple smokers. Similar to the hookah in layout, these ancient Kashmir party pipes should be assembled as ldquo a &;big pipe” ldquo & with a;crater” about which smokers could sit.  

Illustration of a pipe used by the Turkomans of the Island of Cheleken, eastern Caspian Sea in the book “Reise durch Russland…” by Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin, 1784[5]

In North America, Ken Cohen’s “Honoring the Medicine: The Essential Guide to Native American Healing,” published in 2006, details using a rare “Earth Pipe ceremony” where native smokers put their cannabis stems from a pit of hot coals and tobacco.

The continent-jumping and widespread usage of ancient earth pipes in ancient times by multiple cultures could suggest a “culture-link,” according to Belfour’s 1922 paper.

Now, who’s got the shovel?


Banner image: “Native of Kashmir smoking a crude earth pipe, from Illustrated Archaeologist,” September 1894 [3]

Source List

[4] Mr. E. Lovett from the Illustrated Archaeologist, September, 1894, p.100

Le Meschace´be´, Louisiana newspaper, October 15, 1921

“Honoring the medicine: The Essential Guide to Native American Healing” by Ken Cohen 2006

Released at Sat, 20 Oct 2018 01:04:33 +0000

Posted in: News

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