Clay Tobacco Pipes

  • Charles C. KolbEmail author
Living reference work entry


Smoking is the practice of tasting or inhaling smoke which is absorbed into the bloodstream, or smoke was blown into or onto individual’s healing, ceremonial, or sacrificial rituals. The smoke was produced by burning a substance such as sacred herbs or grasses. The English word “tobacco” originates from the Spanish and Portuguese word tabaco which is derived, at least in part, from Taino, a language of the Caribbean Arawak people. Tobacco is a product prepared from the dried or cured leaves of the tobacco plant which is part of the genus Nicotiana and of the Solanaceae (nightshade) family. The more potent variant N. rusticais native to parts of the tropical New World; today more than 70 species of tobacco are known. Reliable archaeological evidence is scant, but it is believed that tobacco growing began in the New World in the Caribbean and adjacent southern Mesoamerica (what is today southern Mexico and parts of Central America) ca. 6000 BC and by 4000 BC was used in...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent Scholar and RetiredNational Endowment for the HumanitiesWashingtonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Patricia Fournier
    • 1
  1. 1.Posgrado en ArqueologíaEscuela Nacional de Antropología e HistoriaMéxicoMexico