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African Smoking and Pipes

John Edward Philips
The Journal of African History
Vol. 24, No. 3 (1983), pp. 303-319
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/181897
Page Count: 17
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African Smoking and Pipes
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Abstract

This article first explains the importance of the history of smoking pipes for other historical questions, especially in West Africa, where pipe styles are used to date archaeological levels. A survey of the major theories about African smoking and pipes is presented. This is followed by a review of the published archaeological literature pertaining to smoking pipes found at various sites from around the continent. The various controversies surrounding African smoking customs are then looked at in the light of the available evidence. The most likely hypothesis is that cannabis was smoked in water pipes in eastern and southern Africa before the introduction of tobacco. Further research is called for to prove or disprove this hypothesis. Tobacco is shown to have been introduced to West Africa from eastern North America, most likely by the French coming to Senegambia, though possibly by Moroccans coming to Timbuktu.

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