Marijuana In Africa
The African continent is probably the zone showing the widest prevalence of the hemp drug habit. When white men first went to Africa, marijuana was part of the native way of life. Africa was a continent of marijuana cultures where marijuana was an integral part of religious ceremony. The Africans were observed inhaling the smoke from piles of smoldering hemp. Some of these piles had been placed upon altars. The Africans also utilized pipes. The African Dagga (marijuana) cults believed that Holy Cannabis was brought to earth by the gods. (Throughout the ancient world Ethiopia was considered the home of the gods.)
In south central Africa, marijuana is held to be sacred and is connected with many religious and social customs. Marijuana is regarded by some sects as a magic plant possessing universal protection against all injury to life, and is symbolic of peace and friendship. Certain tribes consider hemp use a duty. The earliest evidence for cannabis smoking in Africa outside of Egypt comes from fourteenth century Ethiopia, where two ceramic smoking-pipe bowls containing traces of excavation. In many parts of East Africa, especially near Lake Victoria (the source for the Nile), hemp smoking and hashish snuffing cults still exist.