Pipes from Africa
Touring through Africa we encounter a wide selection of tobacco and other smoking pipes. The Massai use animal bone to make a pipe. Congolese tribes have a tradition in covering a nut with brown glue to fabricate their pipes. Artistically very advanced are pipes from the Gold tribes of Asante (Ghana). These ceramic pipes illustrate the proverbs so common in their culture and language. The woman potters made these refined pipes out of fine red or black clay, of which the incised decoration is highlighted by white chalk. The northern Ghanese tribes have simple, coarser pipes, either pot shaped or sculpted as human figures.
In Congo most pipes are made out of wood, mostly finished with a bone mouthpiece. The Kuba tribe has its characteristic wooden horn-like pipes, decorated with intricate carved patterns.
Other African tribes, such as the Yaka, use pipes that are clearly inspired by the common European briar pipe. Only the carved decoration gives them an African look. Since most of the used wood is too soft for a proper pipe, the bowl is normally lined with sheet metal.
South-African tribes were influenced by Dutch colonists and shaped their pipes in soapstone according to the Dutch clay pipe or the German Ulm pipe. However, the most common South-African pipe is a wooden pipe made out of one single piece of wood, forming a high slender bowl and a long stem at a 60° angle, in some cases embellished with strings of beads.
Amsterdam Pipe Shop is specialized in collectors items on pipes