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.

1 comment to Marijuana In Africa

  • Thegweni

    It is believed that the cannabis plant found it’s way to Africa through Arab traders and by the time the Dutch colonized South Africa in the 1600’s, dagga was well established. Van Riebeeck, the Dutch Commander wrote of the Hottentots (the local tribe at the time) would smoke the herb and lay about all day. Charles Bosman, the famed short story writer, tells of tribes smoking cannabis and laying around under blankets all day. These stories were written from the 1930s through to the early 1950s, illustrating the “colonial” view of cannabis.

    Quite different is the cannabis found a little further north in the South African province of Kwa Zulu Natal. This is the famed Durban Poison and Zulu armies would ingest this before battle.

    South Africa suffered much the same prejudices against cannabis as those in the United States and it was considered a drug for the lower classes.

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