In Africa the various cultures have expressed their own local styles in their pipes. Next to small pocket sized pipes, some tribes prefer extremely large ones. The common dry smoking pipe is in use but in many regions the water pipe is popular. On this subject we offer a separate paragraph.
Extremely refined are the pipes from the South-African Bush men made out of colourful soapstone. Most remarkable, the shapes are derived from the European pipes, in which the Gouda clay pipe bowl is reflected as well as the Ulm shape, a bowl with a particular outline and flattened on both sides.
An ingenious combination of decoration and practical shape show the Ashanti pipes, coming from the gold tribe on the African west coast. The decorations on their pipes illustrate proverbial sayings in their language. These pipes were made for centuries in the same way, but unfortunate the techniques became out of use in the early 1900's.
Tribes in Congo favour geometrical patters. Especially the Kuba are fond of special tress work, expressed in their pipes. These patterns are visible in bands on the stems and along the bases of the bowls. Wood is the most common material for pipes.
A special section is dedicated to the tobacco pipes of Cameroon, where smoking is highly respected.
All objects on this page are part of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum
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