Smokers from Asia
In Asia a large variety of pipes and smokers can be found. In most of the countries smoking is known and popular, however the habit developed in different ways. Of course that is related availability of tobacco, the importance of smoking, the economical situation and the local fashions.
Under influence of the Turkish Empire pipes in the Near-East are long stemmed. While smoked the pipe bowl rests and even slides over the floor. Except for tobacco these pipes have been used as cigarette holders as well from about 1860 onwards. In that culture smoking is a favourite pass time and one of the daily pleasures.
IIn other countries smoking of tobacco is primary a stimulant. Tobacco gives energy and does away with a feeling of hunger. In those countries the pipe is normally small and easy to carry around. Wherever one is, those who feel the urge to smoke can do so.
A beautiful print originates from Cochin, south-west India. Here we see a smoker with the typical long stemmed Gouda pipe, of which the stem is showing a ball shaped reservoir in which the smoke cools down.
At present the traditional pipe is still in use in south-east Asia next to the modern imports. The poorest smokers use a simple pipe made out of wood or bamboo. Those who can afford buy a modern briar of European make.
Especially in the regions far from modern developments people still smoke from the imposing pipes made out of bamboo. Also here the chamber in the pipe works to cool down the smoke.
Illustrations on this page from the collections of Amsterdam Pipe Museum
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