Strange pipe from the Aborigines
Little is known about the smoking habits of the native population of Australia, referred to as Aborigines. When smoking was introduced there and what their pipes looked like, are still unanswered questions. The specimen shown here is such a rare example of a local tobacco pipe. The pipe is made in mixed materials with a reed or bamboo plant as a stem. The bowl is made from a cartridge case, the narrowed section forms the bowl base, the pipe head itself is perfectly cylindrical. Brass is suitable as a material for a pipe bowl because burning out is impossible, on the other hand the bowl does get hot quickly which pevents a cool smoke. The pipe stem is painted in red, yellow and black in an attractive rhythm of concentric color bands. The dominant dark red color refers to the Cape York Peninsula region of Queensland. The special silhouette and the remarkable palette are in keeping with the sense of color of the local population there. It is hard to say what age this pipe can be. That this pipe also has a great similarity in shape with the Chinese opium pipe or its variants from the Indonesian archipelago must be purely coincidental.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 22.289Permalink