Hookah Shisha History Spotlight
A hookah is an advanced water pipe that is used to smoke delicious tobacco blends. When you smoke substances out of a regular water pipe, it usually involves combustion of dry product. The hookah works by merely warming moistened tobacco so that a smooth rolling smoking experience is created.
Hookah Shisha and their history are as rich as the flavored tobacco you use them to smoke with. Let’s take a trip to uncover the origins and many alias of this lovely smoking utensil.
Northern India and Southern Pakistan
Hookah originated in these areas. Rudimentary at first, and fabricated out of wood or natural materials. Referred to as “ghelunes” or “ukkas”, these were mainly used in the home by women for entertaining purposes.
The introduction to a more vast area meant tons of different tobacco variations to smoke. “Tombick” was a more refined tobacco that required further advances in the hookah’s evolutionary construction. To taste the flavorful undertones, a better filtration system was required.
500 years ago, the hookah had matured beyond early versions of origin. The pipes and tanks had become fancier in many senses, trading off wood for brass and other fine substances. These new versions were all the rage in high society homes. 200 years later, around the 18th century, the hookahs were taken public, into cafes and bars. This was a first glimpse at the hookah culture know and love today.
Lebanon and Syria
This is where the beloved hookah took on the nick name “nargille” or “argile”. This word means coconut in Persian, and that’s a material that was used in ancient India to construct them. This nicknaming could be considered a throwback of sorts. Although these water pipes were made of more precious materials, the shape was still reminiscent of the milky nut.
Egypt and Morocco
As hookah use spread across many regions, its name changed many times. Around these regions the addition “shisha” was tacked on after hookah. The word shisha means glass, and at this point a lot of the tanks of hookahs were made of the crystalized fine material. Shisha actually refers to the tobacco that is smoked with the pipes. Consider Shisha Hookah’s surname.
Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates
Collecting a few more nicknames in these regions, the hookah is referred to as hubble bubble or huqqa.
In Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Only men are allowed to partake in hookah smoking. Some Muslims believe hookah is haram, which translates to forbidden.
Picking up steam so to speak in the US and even spreading as far as Japan, the hookah and the hookah bar and café scene is thriving.
These awesome water pipes gained popularity due to the social aspect of the ritual in smoking them. Early on in hookah’s history, groups of women would gather to converse and relax while enjoying a hookah. Later, the well to do used it as a status symbol. Common cafes and bars introduced the trend at the working man’s level and hookah’s popularity has only been garnering more fans, with no end in sight.