Smoking pipes in Asia
Asia is a huge continent that shows a wide variety in shapes and materials in tobacco pipes. A general characteristic of the Asian pipe is the small bowl, due to the shortage on tobacco in most areas.
In the Middle-East the pipes are strongly related to the Ottoman products. The shape of the chibouk returns frequently. Most pipes are made out of clay, although not as finely finished as the European and Ottoman examples.
Yemen pipes have a typical appearance, with their ceramic base and metal windshield. This upper part contains the charcoal that keeps the pipe burning. The stems are usually made of coffee tree twigs and can be up to a meter in length.
Apart from the conventional stemmed pipe, smokers in India use a tubular pipe, the so-called chillum. They can be made from ordinary potters' clay as well as bronze, wood or stone. The soft wood pipes are lined with metal in the inside to extend their life.
A specific tobacco pipe that occurs only in Japan is called kiseru. The bowl and the mouthpiece are usually in metal, while the stem is made from bamboo. Decorations in different techniques such as engraving and moulding in relief show the fine Japanese taste. Often, the pipes are embellished with silver or even gold.
In China the dry tobacco pipe is used next to the more common water pipe. Both types of pipes were filled with a fine cut tobacco. A special smoking implement for South-East Asia is the opium pipe that has a specific shape and use. A special chapter is dedicated to that type of pipe.
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