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.

a women in eastern clothing smoking from a long stemmed pipe with a small bowl, engraving, France, 1750-1800 Turkse roker met halflange tsjiboekpijp, karakterafbeelding van Ludwig Löffer, c. 1850
three man sitting on cushions smoking from long stemmed pipes the bowls standing on the floor, 1910-1920
view on Cochin on the west coast of India with standing smoker with long pipe, engraving, the Netherlands, 1690-16975
two women in eastern clothing the one on the left smoking from a cylindrical table pipe, Tonkin, c. 1910
detail of the Cohin print, the Netherlands, 1690-1695
the hill-tribes in the northern parts of Thailand sometimes smoke with large bamboo pipes, the hollow part serving to cool the smoke, Thailand, 1980-1990 smoker using a pipe of bamboo with a wooden bowl, Lesor, Thailand, 1980-1990
next to pipes also the so-called green cigar is popular in Thailand, Thailand, 1980-1990
Chinese man using a characteristic Chinese water pipe made out of pakton, China, c.1980
an old man smoking a traditional Chinese pipe, Hong Kong, c. 1940
this person from Java of age with tobacco pipe is certainly not a common appearance, charcoal on paper, Djakarta, Indonesia, 1994
Illustrations on this page from the collections of Amsterdam Pipe Museum
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