Smoking Hukkas

Smoking Hukkas
Basketry and Matting

Smoking Hukkas or pipes. Etched and pigment-painted bamboo; 17 cm; 15 cm; 13 cm. Probably Mizoram. c. early 20th century. 86/6964; 86/6965; 86/6966.

Hollow bamboo culms with a base formed at an internode, or hollow cane, are used as water containers in the ingenious construction of hukkas or pipes used by both men and women of the North-East. A portion of a rhizome, the underground stem of bamboo, forms the upper lid which is made so as to hold two pipes, one along the central vertical axis, and the other, diagonally, and generally longer than the first. This second pipe is used to pull in the smoke while the vertical one is used to hold a clay receptacle, now missing, containing tobacco.

In Mizoram the pipe is known as the tuibur, the smoking pipe of the Lushai tribe of Mizoram is known as the vaibel, that of the Nishi in Arunachal hutuslli, and that of the Apa Tani, sudhum.1

1.Ranjan, etal. 1986, p.286-7

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