Pipes Magazine » General Pipe Smoking Discussion

Search Forums  
   
Tags:  No tags yet. 

What did Indians smoke

(51 posts)
  • Started 6 months ago by trouttimes
  • Latest reply from 5star
  1. trouttimes

    trouttimes

    Senior Member
    Joined: Nov 2018
    Posts: 1,029

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Another post talking about possibly running out of tabacco got me thinking, what did the American Indians smoke? Did they grow tabacco in the west or Southwest before the Europeans?

    “The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began.
    Now far ahead the Road has gone, I must follow if I can
    Posted 6 months ago #
  2. chasingembers

    Embers

    Captain Of The Black Frigate
    Joined: Nov 2014
    Posts: 15,385

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    They were growing tobacco before there were Europeans.

    http://westerndigs.org/ice-age-hunting-camp-replete-with-bird-bones-and-tobacco-found-in-utah-desert/

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 6 months ago #
  3. huntertrw

    huntertrw

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2014
    Posts: 4,005

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    What did Indians smoke

    This native of Delhi appears to be smoking a pipe:

    Love Me, Love My Pipe
    Posted 6 months ago #
  4. olkofri

    Olkofri

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2017
    Posts: 2,101

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Indians, not Hindoos.

    Not the sweet, new grass with flowers is this harvesting of mine;
    Not the upland clover bloom...
    Posted 6 months ago #
  5. mso489

    mso489

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2013
    Posts: 25,923

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Europeans were introduced to tobacco by the tribal nations, but I assume, only certain nations, since they were spread across the country with widely different cultures and languages. Some Europeans found frequent recreational tobacco use with some of the Plains Indians, like the Blackfoot, in addition to ceremonial use. But I think many tribes smoked a mixture of herbs. I wonder if the nations have ever gotten into pipe making, other than souvenir peace pipes type items (other than pipes done for their own use in the traditional way). You'd think they might gain some benefit from pipe smoking since they invented it, but I don't think they'd like any advice from me whatever.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  6. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 13,328

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    They were growing tobacco before there were Europeans.

    http://westerndigs.org/ice-age-hunting-camp-replete-with-bird-bones-and-tobacco-found-in-utah-desert/

    Interesting that the chief archeologist was named Duke, the first name in American tobacco business.

    I thought tobacco was indigenous to the Carolinas/Virginias. If so, finding seeds thousands of miles away says cool things about mobility and trade over 10,000 years ago.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 6 months ago #
  7. 5star

    5star

    Senior Member
    Joined: Nov 2017
    Posts: 401

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Fascinating subject that I’ve just recently begun to explore. All I’d read placed tobacco usage going back just a few thousand years with Nicotiana Rustica in Peru and Ecuador. The article above blows that timeline completely out of the water. - - I also read that various native peoples in the Americas made pipes out of clay, stone, and wood.

    "You are remembered for the rules you break." - General Douglas MacArthur
    Posted 6 months ago #
  8. donjgiles

    donjgiles

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Apr 2018
    Posts: 781

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I work in the museum world and several years ago I had the pleasure of meeting with the Tuscarora tribe as they recreated their freedom walk from North Carolina to Washington DC. Part of what we do are install historical markers at significant sites across Pennsylvania. One of these markers celebrated their journey and some of our staff met the tribe at that marker. At that meeting we were honored to take part in their ceremony which involved sharing a pipe in the sacred circle. The experience is one I will never forget and I feel very blessed to have been included. One question I asked was about their tobacco. They were very proud to tell me they grow their own crops using heirloom seeds. The tobacco was strong and very earthy, not sweet or flavored in any way. If I had to guess, I would say it was blend of burley and virginia tobaccos. The pipe was later gifted to our museum.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  9. retrogrouch

    retrogrouch

    Junior Member
    Joined: Jul 2017
    Posts: 87

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    There is a tobacco varietal called, "Isleta Pueblo Rustica." Here in New Mexico we have the Isleta Pueblo. I do not know how old the varietal is but the names suggest a connection. A quick search showed the following.

    https://www.victoryseeds.com/nicotiana_isleta-pueblo.html

    Posted 6 months ago #
  10. peanubutter

    peanubutter

    New Member
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 33

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    A very interesting read and surprised at the age of the tools and seeds.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  11. chasingembers

    Embers

    Captain Of The Black Frigate
    Joined: Nov 2014
    Posts: 15,385

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    The article above blows that timeline completely out of the water.

    I would bet it goes back much further.

    https://www.google.com&s/www.independent.co.uk/news/science/north-america-first-humans-colonist-evidence-scientists-alaska-genetics-a8140231.html%3famp

    Posted 6 months ago #
  12. mso489

    mso489

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2013
    Posts: 25,923

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Also of interest:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinnikinnick

    Posted 6 months ago #
  13. chasingembers

    Embers

    Captain Of The Black Frigate
    Joined: Nov 2014
    Posts: 15,385

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Also of interest:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinnikinnick

    I like this one.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  14. cortezattic

    Cortez

    A part of the problem since he ...
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 14,559

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/pipe-videos/use-of-tobacco-by-the-north-american-indians-and-the-use-of-the-catlinite-pipes/

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 6 months ago #
  15. pipestud

    pipestud

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Dec 2012
    Posts: 1,746

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I work in the museum world and several years ago I had the pleasure of meeting with the Tuscarora tribe as they recreated their freedom walk from North Carolina to Washington DC. Part of what we do are install historical markers at significant sites across Pennsylvania. One of these markers celebrated their journey and some of our staff met the tribe at that marker. At that meeting we were honored to take part in their ceremony which involved sharing a pipe in the sacred circle. The experience is one I will never forget and I feel very blessed to have been included. One question I asked was about their tobacco. They were very proud to tell me they grow their own crops using heirloom seeds. The tobacco was strong and very earthy, not sweet or flavored in any way. If I had to guess, I would say it was blend of burley and virginia tobaccos. The pipe was later gifted to our museum.-donjgiles

    That is one cool story. I wish I could have been a part of that. Thanks for sharing!

    Pipestud
    Posted 6 months ago #
  16. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Aug 2013
    Posts: 18,163

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Funny... I grow tobaccos, along with some Rustica and a few other heirloom varieties. I have quite a few Native American jewelers in my list of Facebook friends, because of my job. One day, I saw one asking if anyone knew of anyone who grew Native varietals of tobaccos. I responded, and have been supplying at least three tribal gatherings with tobacco for a few years now. But, when they talk about it in their groups they say, "this tobacco was grown by Native Americans using ancient seed and ancient techniques..." I have to laugh, knowing my redheaded white ass ain't nothing close to Native American. Like anything, don't rely on "anyone's" marketing for ancient wisdom or history... especially our own.

    Michael
    Posted 6 months ago #
  17. jaytex969

    jaytex969

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2017
    Posts: 3,524

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    this tobacco was grown by Native Americans using ancient seed and ancient techniques

    It's a typo. They meant to say "this tobacco was grown by ancient Americans using native seed and native techniques"

    Gunner, Black Frigate. Say "Hello" to my little friend!
    Posted 6 months ago #
  18. User has not uploaded an avatar

    jitterbugdude

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 1,034

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    what did the American Indians smoke

    The North Americans in the Eastern and southern parts smoked Rustica. The Plains and somewhat to the Northwest smoked a different strain which I can't recall(there's 2 actually). The South Americans smoked a combination of Rustica and what we now know as Burleys and Virginia (emanating from the Orinoco Valley area).

    Posted 6 months ago #
  19. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Aug 2013
    Posts: 18,163

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    The South Americans smoked a combination of Rustica and what we now know as Burleys and Virginia (emanating from the Orinoco Valley area).

    But, just to add a tad of clarification to what Jitter says, There were no Virginias before the 1850's. This was all discovered in a fluke. He means to say that the originating varietal called Orinoco. He said it all correctly, I just wanted to reiterate for clarification. Native Americans were not smoking Virginias.

    The development of Virginias (or bright leaf) and flue curing process has a very interesting history.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  20. 5star

    5star

    Senior Member
    Joined: Nov 2017
    Posts: 401

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Fascinating subject !

    As pipe smokers, all of us have likely run into some negativity from non-smokers when they found out we smoke tobacco. It may have only manifest in a raised eyebrow or disapproving frown. WE know pipesmoking isn’t the same as cigarette smoking, even if they don’t.

    Getting back to the thread topic - - what impact did tobacco smoking have on the health of native peoples ? Not those people today who are smoking modern commercial cigarettes, but the native populations from previous centuries who grew & smoked their own tobacco. I wonder if anyone has conducted a study of this

    Posted 6 months ago #
  21. unadoptedlamp

    unadoptedlamp

    Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 244

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I was just talking about this with an indigenous friend of mine from Brazil. He smokes a strong black rope tobacco flavoured with some herbs from the Amazon. His supply is small scale grown tobacco that is supposedly "organic"

    The herbs take the edge off a little bit, but it is far too strong for me. It gave me the dry heaves after a bowl. I tried it without the herbs and it was the same. It felt like I was smoking straight perique. I can handle a bowl of nightcap just fine, for reference. This would be about 10 notches above that, from what I felt.

    My friend took me to a tribe of Tupi Guarani near Sao Paulo. They use large pipes for daily use, which is basically a block of wood with angular carvings. But, they also have some ornamental pipes of various forest creatures. Those don't seem to be used much though.

    The one very interesting thing I saw was a group of kids, no more than 9 years old, smoking pipes. I did a triple take on that one. Nobody cares.

    We were later in their ceremonial lodge for the evening and everyone was smoking a pipe. So much, you could hardly make out a person on the other side of the room. Not wanting to offend anyone, I asked if it was ok for me to smoke too. It was fine. When I pulled out my bent apple and loaded it with my own tobacco, they howled. I didn't speak Portuguese so well at the time, but the gist of it was that I was smoking a pipe suitable for an infant.

    Here's the typical style of pipe. I have one of these, and an ornamental ant-eater pipe. The large block pipe has a bamboo shank on mine. Instead of cleaning it, you just swap it out with a new one when the gunk is too much. Very cool smoking pipe, but I rarely use it.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  22. 5star

    5star

    Senior Member
    Joined: Nov 2017
    Posts: 401

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    @unadoptedlamp - thanks for posting that personal account & photo. What a great experience that must have been for you !

    Posted 6 months ago #
  23. mso489

    mso489

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2013
    Posts: 25,923

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    unadopted, great firsthand experience and photo. I like their reaction to a standard probably Group 4 pipe! I think less processed leaf from here would also be a really rough smoke for most of us.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  24. leafsmoker

    leafsmoker

    Member
    Joined: Oct 2017
    Posts: 279

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I do know they blended with herbs.Some herbs they used were Damania(not sure if I spelled right),mullein,etc...I found A good herbal link...Interesting to say the least. http://www.askaprepper.com/23-medicinal-plants-native-americans-used-daily-basis/

    The walls have ears, the windows have eyes, and the wise man tells no lies.
    You can offer someone a cigar, but you can never offer someone your pipe.
    Posted 6 months ago #
  25. 5star

    5star

    Senior Member
    Joined: Nov 2017
    Posts: 401

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    There were/are so many different tribes over a vast area. I imagine the blends they used and the methods & conditions under which they smoked varied widely. Did native peoples from the eastern United States smoke the same as people living in Peru ? Perhaps not.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  26. wendell

    wendell

    New Member
    Joined: Dec 2018
    Posts: 22

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I am part Abenaki indian and part Scottish. native folks around new england had a veriety of tobacco called mohawk tobacco. the tobacco before contact did not have the chemicals in it that todays does. and it was different than todays. To native peoples tobacco is a sacred plant and used for cerimonial reasons or as medicine. Herbs such as , mullien, comfrey and coltsfoot are lung medicines and are smoked to promote healing.
    The term "peace pipe " is a farce and considerd offensive by many . It is a cerimonial pipe and is a sacred thing , carried by certian people with certain teachings and responcibilities. and NO, pot wasn't smoked in it!! we didn't smoke to get high , and what we smoke would NOT get us high . It is sacred medicine! called kinnik .. some say kinnikinik.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  27. donjgiles

    donjgiles

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Apr 2018
    Posts: 781

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    The ceremony I was privileged to witness was all about gratefulness and giving thanks. Thankfulness to the air, water, land, plants, animals, etc. I was humbled and found myself with tears in my eyes as I suddenly felt very selfish and ungrateful for the things I had been taking for granted for so long. My outlook on many things changed that day.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  28. curl

    curl

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Apr 2014
    Posts: 596

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    This doesn’t say what Indians smoked, but it does tell us what some of them smoked it in.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pipestone_National_Monument

    Posted 6 months ago #
  29. leafsmoker

    leafsmoker

    Member
    Joined: Oct 2017
    Posts: 279

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Yeah curl,Pipestone is also referred to as bloodstone. I had a pipe that I misplaced that was bloodstone.Gosh,I still wish I had it.I guess legend says it was a stone of peoples blood that stained and made up the stone.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  30. trouttimes

    trouttimes

    Senior Member
    Joined: Nov 2018
    Posts: 1,029

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    We have lots and lots of mullen around here in Colorado. Do you know how the cured it? It really seems that the leafs are too thick to dry like you do,tabacco.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  31. User has not uploaded an avatar

    wasnsfisher

    Member
    Joined: Oct 2017
    Posts: 116

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Peace pipe consisted of a combination of willow bark, wild weed(cannibis) and buffalo dung.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  32. donjgiles

    donjgiles

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Apr 2018
    Posts: 781

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Here are some images from our Museum...

    This one is not from Pennsylvania, but a Western Plains example.

    Don

    Posted 6 months ago #
  33. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 13,328

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Peace pipe consisted of a combination of willow bark, wild weed(cannibis) and buffalo dung.

    Could you please give a site or two for this interesting information?

    Posted 6 months ago #
  34. leafsmoker

    leafsmoker

    Member
    Joined: Oct 2017
    Posts: 279

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Nice photos of pipe carvings and ceremonial pipes.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  35. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 13,328

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Don-

    That's a great display! Were the pieces carbon dated, or some other method of dating?

    Particularly interesting is the cutty shape around 1640! Also extraordinary is the embossing on the 1000 AD pipe bowl.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  36. donjgiles

    donjgiles

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Apr 2018
    Posts: 781

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Thank you.
    Our Museum has an extensive Archaeology collection that number into the millions of artifacts.
    I do not know how the pieces were dated other than being found within a particular site and the research conducted of those sites. I know we have done some carbon dating of specific artifacts, the next time I am working with our Archaeologists I will press them for more information.
    Some of those pieces are quite extraordinary and I enjoy being able to work in such an interesting place.

    Don

    Posted 6 months ago #
  37. 5star

    5star

    Senior Member
    Joined: Nov 2017
    Posts: 401

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    In the photos above, the white clay pipes from 1640-1750 AD caught my immediate attention. England had a thriving pipe making industry at that time and exported many clay pipes based on original native designs. Many of those English pipes were sent back to North America and were traded to and used by native peoples.

    The Dutch also made a lot of clay pipes back then.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  38. disinformatique

    The Pipe Monk

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2014
    Posts: 1,697

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    You mean Native Americans. Indians live in India and not just "Hindoos".

    Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying, “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs.” One of the reasons behind this statement is that pipe smoking is meant to be a slow leisurely activity. It takes patience to smoke a pipe. Unlike cigarettes and cigars, there is a certain amount of technique to smoking a pipe. Where cigars and cigarettes can just be picked up, lit and puffed on, pipes require the development of a technique in order to get the best smoking experience.
    Posted 6 months ago #
  39. olkofri

    Olkofri

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2017
    Posts: 2,101

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    The term is debatable, at best. We could really get into some scholarly debate about 'indians'. We're using English here, but some other languages such as Castilian refer to inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent as 'hindoos' (hindúes); whenever they use the term 'indian' (indio, indios) they always mean American indians. You could challenge the Real Academia de la Lengua on that, but you wouldn't win. A Chinese man once told me that in China they call them 'hindoos' as well.

    Interestingly, you may have a bit of a point nonetheless. It is said that the 'native' Americans were called 'indians' by the Spaniards because Columbus named them so upon disembarking in San Salvador, as he believed he had arrived to India. Go figure.

    Anyway, we could use the term West Indies to refer to America, and West Indians to the people the Europeans found here. Just don't call them 'First Nations', because most of them weren't first.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  40. trouttimes

    trouttimes

    Senior Member
    Joined: Nov 2018
    Posts: 1,029

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Sorry if my use of Indian offend anyone. I'm an old fart who grew up on John Wayne and he never had problems with Native Americans, just Indians.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  41. chasingembers

    Embers

    Captain Of The Black Frigate
    Joined: Nov 2014
    Posts: 15,385

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I'm Shawnee/Scots-Irish. I don't mind the term.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  42. davet

    davet

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 3,807

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    You mean Native Americans. Indians live in India

    We have a govt. department in Canada called Indian and Northern Affairs.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  43. donjgiles

    donjgiles

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Apr 2018
    Posts: 781

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    As far as I understand, Indian is not as offensive as it was previously. When know, it is best to use the name of the Nation when describing a group.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  44. trouttimes

    trouttimes

    Senior Member
    Joined: Nov 2018
    Posts: 1,029

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Talked to Ute friend of mine and he explained how they "smoked" the mullen the same as they did meat in a smoke teepee then they use a roll knife and cut it in strips a small pieces. Very interesting.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  45. mso489

    mso489

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2013
    Posts: 25,923

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I know nothing about it, but I thought that the term "Indian" was re-accepted as a point of honor, with a little sardonic spin by the nations themselves that it captures the fact that Europeans, upon "discovering" North America and other areas in the hemisphere thought they'd made it to India and called them Indians. So ha-ha, and we'll go with that. Maybe not, but perhaps so.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  46. stevecourtright

    stevecourtright

    New Member
    Joined: Oct 2018
    Posts: 44

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Really great thread. Thanks for all those sharing what they know.

    One of my favorite classes in school was Medicinal Botany (and also my most expensive textbook). I recall the use of tobacco was discussed in some detail, but it was so long ago... well, that's another thread.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  47. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 13,328

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Wonder if they'll edit out the tobacco references!

    Posted 6 months ago #
  48. prairiedruid

    prairiedruid

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2015
    Posts: 1,685

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Mullein can be smoked to relieve chest congestion and stuffy noses. I haven't tried it but learned about it from a Blackfoot.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  49. 5star

    5star

    Senior Member
    Joined: Nov 2017
    Posts: 401

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    “ Wonder if they'll edit out the tobacco references! “

    The latest edition of the text says the native peoples were only blowing soap bubbles in their pipes.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  50. stevecourtright

    stevecourtright

    New Member
    Joined: Oct 2018
    Posts: 44

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    @5star LOL.

    To be fair, there were a lot of other topics in this particular textbook that were of much greater "controversy" than tobacco.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  51. 5star

    5star

    Senior Member
    Joined: Nov 2017
    Posts: 401

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    LOL

    I don’t see how telling the truth about matters of history and science are controversial, but that’s often the case.
    Anyway, that’s a whole different topic.

    Posted 6 months ago #

Reply

You must log in to post.

 

 

    Back To Top  | Back to Forum Home Page

   Members Online Now
   mortonbriar