In South Africa, three types of pipes stand out. The oldest were made of colorful soapstone with an extraordinary refinement. They were used by the Khoikhoi, better known as Bushmen or Hottentots. Remarkably, the design is entirely based on the European pipe, in addition to the well-known Gouda oval pipe shape, we also see the German Ulm pipe in stone. Despite the small and elegant size, these were men's pipes. Stronger are the simple tubular pipes, the only kind that was allowed to be smoked by women.
The Xhosa used acacia wood as a material for pipes. The inside of the pipe bowl was given a wafer-thin tin layer against burning. The Xhosa pipes were exceptionally cleverly crafted, the high bowl and stem are at right angles to each other but carved from one piece of wood. Only the strictly personal mouthpiece was made of a stronger wood or even horn. Some examples have lead inlay, others are decorated with colorful beads.
In addition to the traditional tobacco pipe, water pipes were smoked in South Africa. This usually involves smoking tobacco with hemp as an admixture. The gourd was widely used as a water reservoir, but alternatively you come across cow horns that are significantly more durable.
In the twentieth century, the briar pipe became common in South Africa under the influence of the English colonization. During the Boer War, many prisoners carved these types of pipes as pass time with all kinds of appropriate emblems and inscriptions. These Boer war pipes are extremely popular today and highly sought after as war souvenirs.