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pipe smoking.The habit of smoking various substances probably arose independently in different parts of the world. Herodotus in the 5th cent. B.C. describes the Scythians as inhaling the fumes of burning leaves until they were intoxicated. The leaves may have been marijuanamarijuana
drug obtained from the flowering tops, stems, and leaves of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa (see hemp) or C. indica; the latter species can withstand colder climates.
..... Click the link for more information. , which was smoked in Africa and Asia long before the diffusion of tobaccotobacco,
name for any plant of the genus Nicotiana of the Solanaceae family (nightshade family) and for the product manufactured from the leaf and used in cigars and cigarettes, snuff, and pipe and chewing tobacco.
..... Click the link for more information. from America in the 16th cent. Among the Native Americans, pipe smoking was practiced long before the arrival of Europeans. The peace pipe, or calumetcalumet
[Fr.,=reed], name given by the French to the peace pipe used by the indigenous people of North America for smoking tobacco; it consisted of a long, feathered stem, with or without a pipe bowl.
..... Click the link for more information. , was smoked in ceremonies to signify a covenant between tribes. The use of tobacco and pipes spread around the world rapidly. In Asia, opiumopium,
substance derived by collecting and drying the milky juice in the unripe seed pods of the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum. Opium varies in color from yellow to dark brown and has a characteristic odor and a bitter taste.
..... Click the link for more information. , which up to that time had only been eaten, was first smoked in the 17th cent. The hookah of Persia and the narghile of India, both of which filter smoke through water, may have evolved independently from the marijuana-smoking practices among aboriginal groups of S Africa and of central Asia. Everywhere, pipes have acquired particular national characteristics and have blossomed into many shapes, fashioned from many materials, including brier, stone, clay, wood, porcelain, meerschaum, and corncobs.