Pipe bowl from the Dogon culture
For many African cultures, no history has yet been written about their smoking culture and the pipes that they used. That applies for example to the Dogon in Mali. Although countless excavations have been made in that area in recent decades, little material has been published about their smoking habits. Finds in any case point to pipe bowls that are beautifully designed, such as the example shown here. The softly baked ceramic does not allow stemmed pipes, so that all examples have a stub stem, often it is square at the end without a stub, features that are the most characteristic for the Dogon's pipes. The pipe bowl itself has a beautiful shape, double conical with an oblique edge halfway. The opening is reinforced with an protruding bowl rim. After moulding on the turntable, the hand-shaped stem is glued to the pipe. As decoration, lines are scratched to finally dip the object into a bath with iron slip to get a nice shine. All these actions point to a well-developed pottery industry. Although countless pipes can now be recognized as Dogon, the chronology is yet to be determined. Some research into this aspect is due to be done in the coming years.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 20.987Permalink