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date: 22 June 2017

Cannabis and Tobacco in Precolonial and Colonial Africa

Abstract and Keywords

Cannabis and tobacco have longstanding roles in African societies. Despite botanical and pharmacological dissimilarities, it is worthwhile to consider tobacco and cannabis together because they have been for centuries the most commonly and widely smoked drug plants. Cannabis, the source of marijuana and hashish, was introduced to eastern Africa from southern Asia, and dispersed widely within Africa mostly after 1500. In sub-Saharan Africa, cannabis was taken into ethnobotanies that included pipe smoking, a practice invented in Africa; in Asia, it had been consumed orally. Smoking significantly changes the drug pharmacologically, and the African innovation of smoking cannabis initiated the now-global practice. Africans developed diverse cultures of cannabis use, including Central African practices that circulated widely in the Atlantic world via slave trading. Tobacco was introduced to Africa from the Americas in the late 1500s. It gained rapid, widespread popularity, and Africans developed distinctive modes of tobacco production and use. Primary sources on these plants are predominantly from European observers, which limits historical knowledge because Europeans strongly favored tobacco and were mostly ignorant or disdainful of African cannabis uses. Both plants have for centuries been important subsistence crops. Tobacco was traded across the continent beginning in the 1600s; cannabis was less valuable but widely exchanged by the same century, and probably earlier. Both plants became cash crops under colonial regimes. Tobacco helped sustain mercantilist and slave-trade economies, became a focus of colonial and postcolonial economic development efforts, and remains economically important. Cannabis was outlawed across most of the continent by 1920. Africans resisted its prohibition, and cannabis production remains economically significant despite its continued illegality.

Keywords: drugs, medicine, labor, agriculture, commerce, economic botany, environment

Botanical Background

Cannabis refers to plants in the botanical genus Cannabis, while tobacco pertains to Nicotiana.1

Tobacco taxonomy is not contentious. There are dozens of species, the most important being Nicotiana tabacum L. (the basis of most commercial industries) and Nicotiana rustica L. (which supplies households and small commercial industries). All species bear the alkaloid nicotine, which humans can absorb from smoke or directly from plant material (as with chew or snuff). Pharmacologically, nicotine can reduce anxiety and increase mental focus; high doses are toxic, and repeated doses can produce physiological dependence. Nicotiana rustica has higher nicotine concentration than tabacum, but the species cannot be reliably distinguished in primary sources. Both species are native to the tropical and subtropical Americas. They crossed the Atlantic on European ships initially in the 1500s and are now farmed globally below about 50° latitude.

In contrast, Cannabis is taxonomically contentious. The genus is native to central Eurasia. It is highly variable morphologically, though form has commonly been conceptually secondary to the invisible character of psychoactive potential. The aboriginal plant population of temperate Eurasia was not psychoactive, unlike that of southern Asia and eastern Africa. Historically, Europeans often interpreted the psychoactive versus non-psychoactive distinction as an expression of European versus non-European social and environmental conditions. Botanists have not found morphological characters that reliably correlate with these two types, long called “European hemp” and “Indian hemp.”

There are two primary theories of Cannabis taxonomy. The one-species theory is that all plants represent the highly variable species Cannabis sativa L. Psychoactive potential is simply one aspect of variability accentuated through agricultural selection. This theory underlies current, formal taxonomy2 and most literature on cannabis. It implies that psychoactive plant populations arose historically because particular peoples preferred cannabis as a source of mind-altering drugs, instead of other products.3 Alternatively, the two-species theory is that the types arose independently of humans and have distinct dispersal histories. Botanists generally term these species Cannabis sativa (non-psychoactive plants) and Cannabis indica (psychoactive plants).4 Molecular genetic studies support the two-species model.5

The selection of taxonomic theory is an important research decision. Cultural, social, and racial stereotypes have tinged perceptions of drug use for centuries. The one-species model has contributed to racial discourse when the historical occurrence of psychoactive plants has been interpreted as an outcome of non-European preference for narcotic dissipation, opposed to a more industrious European preference for fiber.6 For instance, to explain the undocumented origin of marijuana in the United States, a 2005 history states, “Hemp had been grown […] for a long time but this had not led to an awareness of its psycho-active potential, at least in the white population. Black slaves, however, knew of it from their experience of dagga back in Africa.”7 This statement bears multiple errors of fact relating to the history and geography of slave trading in relation to cannabis distribution. Most importantly, though, such historiography suggests that drug use is a racially determined behavior, thereby justifying racial bias in drug-law enforcement, which is a significant problem in current societies.8 Conversely, the two-species theory implies that diversity within the genus shapes human interactions with Cannabis. Historical evidence shows that peoples of all continental origins have used cannabis as both fiber and drug. Historical occurrences of psychoactive drug use tracked the geographic dispersal of Cannabis indica, not the migrations of particular human groups.

Indeed, cannabis biogeography constrains historical narratives.9Cannabis sativa grows between about 35° and 60° latitude, north and south of the Equator. It was the sole type in Europe until the 1840s. Europeans planted it widely in colonial possessions, but low-latitude plantings failed for ecological reasons. Cannabis sativa was grown successfully in the Maghreb. Cannabis indica grows primarily below 35° latitude. Its psychoactive use arose by 2000 BCE in the Afghanistan-Pakistan-Tajikistan borderlands. It has since colonized the low latitudes worldwide, including most of Africa. Although cannabis undoubtedly came from southern Asia, most African cannabis cultures are not clearly derived from Asian precedents.

Finally, cannabis has had many uses. Names for these uses are not synonymous with species names. Both species have provided hemp (textile and cordage fiber), hempseed (an edible oilseed), and drugs (substances that affect bodily function). Hempseed and fiber from both species are non-psychoactive. Both species produce cannabinoids, a class of phytochemicals, in leaves and flowers. Only Cannabis indica bears meaningful amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive cannabinoid, which must be heated and ingested to have effect. Pharmacologically, tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids have objective physiological effects, but the subjective effects individuals experience depend upon social context. Consequently, effects of cannabis drug use in past societies have differed from those familiar in current societies.

Technological Background

Smoking pipes were invented in sub-Saharan Africa as early as 600 BCE.10 Archaeologists have found pre-Columbian pipes in sites from Lake Chad to Ethiopia, and south to Botswana.11 Africans invented water pipes, historically associated primarily with cannabis, and dry pipes, associated primarily with tobacco. Only clay or stone pipe bowls survive in most archaeological contexts. Bowls from water pipes and dry pipes are shaped differently, and bowl form suggests different pipe-making traditions. Historically, water-pipe containers were of bamboo, calabash, coconut, antler, or wood; ceramic and glass containers appeared after about 1500, in North Africa. Some pipe types were entirely biodegradable (including dry pipes made from banana petioles) or had no manufactured components (including earth pipes made in the ground entirely from soil).

Most pre-Columbian pipes postdate 1000 CE and come from eastern Africa.12 This apparent pattern tenuously suggests the arrival of cannabis. Earlier pipe bowls in this region generally had smaller capacities than later ones, which implies conservative use of an uncommon substance, such as a newly introduced plant.13 Archaeologists in Ethiopia have found chemical traces of cannabis in pipe bowls from about 1325.14 Sites elsewhere have not yielded chemical evidence. Many archeological pipes probably predate the arrival of cannabis or tobacco. There is no evidence of what was smoked earlier, despite many candidate plants.15 Datura is the most widespread, but recent ethnographers working in Southern and Central Africa have recorded many plants that are smoked as substitutes for tobacco and/or cannabis. Finally, in some areas, particularly West Africa, the practice of smoking arrived only in the post-Columbian period, with cannabis or tobacco.16

African pipe technologies are significant in world history. First, evidence for pre-Columbian smoking in the Old World outside Africa is scant and dubious. Researchers have commonly assumed that all African smoking pipes were derived from introduced Native American or Eurasian technologies. This assumption reflects unfounded belief in Africa’s technological backwardness and has confounded archaeologists who have estimated erroneously that all pipes postdate the arrival of tobacco.17

Second, African smoking pipes represent significant technological advancement. Although Native Americans independently invented dry pipes, water pipes come only from Africa. In ancient Eurasia, people purposefully inhaled smoke, but through inefficient technologies, like fumigated tents, in which most smoke enters ambient air rather than lungs. Pipes allow efficient smoke inhalation and enable users to control drug dosage closely. For cannabis, this is particularly significant, because dosages are difficult to manage via oral ingestion. Smoked cannabis also acts much faster within bodies. Smoking has become the globally dominant form of cannabis ingestion.

Finally, many people worldwide learned of smoking ultimately through contact with African technologies. Words for smoking pipe in most European languages derive from English/French pipe. The Portuguese word cachimbo differs markedly. Portuguese speakers probably first learned of smoking along the middle Zambezi, where several languages share terms for dry pipes like Chichewa kachimbo or Tonga katsimbu. Dry pipes as old as 1100 CE have been recovered in southern Zambia.18 Smoking pipes were seemingly absent in eastern Brazil when the Portuguese arrived there.19 Portuguese travelers visited the middle Zambezi by 151420 and likely spoke local languages.21 The loanword cachimbo transferred from Portuguese into Spanish, French, and Occitan, initially to label a pipe type distinct from European pipes derived from Native American technologies.22 Catimbau meant smoking pipe in historic Tupi-Guarani (spoken in Brazil);23 possible cognates occur in western Africa where the Portuguese were historically active, such as Vili timba (spoken in Cabinda). Further, types of water pipe developed in southern Asia after the introduction of tobacco were likely innovations upon East African designs.24

African Cannabis

Prehistoric Cannabis

Scant evidence from around 1300 BCE—a few pollen grains collected from lake sediments and several strands of hemp fiber in one tomb25—suggests at best that cannabis grew scarcely in Pharaonic Egypt. A medicinal plant known from hieroglyphs might be cannabis,26 but the hieroglyphs could easily refer to other plants. Any ancient Egyptian cannabis culture had no demonstrable influence on later cultures.

Beyond Egypt, sites in central Madagascar have yielded pollen as old as 300 BCE, associated with unknown settlers.27 Cannabis pollen became abundant about 800 CE, approximately when the ancestors of today’s Malagasy arrived.28 In northern Morocco, a few pollen grains have been recovered from 300 CE, though pollen became abundant only around 1000 CE.29 In central Kenya a few grains have been found from 1500 CE, although pollen from associated plants (primarily cereals) appeared much earlier, around 600 BCE.30

North African Cannabis Cultures

North African cannabis cultures originated within the broader Islamic world. During the Islamic Golden Age (800s–1400s), cannabis was called in Arabic qinnab, and grown widely, primarily to supply non-psychoactive medicines.31Qinnab may have initially corresponded with Cannabis sativa, which entered the Mediterranean as a fiber source primarily via ancient Greece in the 400s BCE, although Cannabis indica grew in the Levant by 600 BCE.32Qinnab came to mean “cannabis grown for fiber” across North Africa, though this was never more than a marginal crop. It persisted into the 1900s in Morocco.33 European seed was probably tried there, and certainly in Algeria by 1866.34 Maghrebian cannabis is distinctive amongst African varieties because it is a cross between sativa and indica.35

In Arabic, psychoactive cannabis was initially lumped with Datura and other plants under the name banj (“intoxicant”). By the 1200s, cannabis was specifically known as ḥashīsh, which meant “herbage” but became a nickname for cannabis meaning “the herb.”36Ḥashīsh referred to the plant as well as masses of cannabis resin, where psychoactive chemicals are concentrated. Arabic-language sources document ḥashīsh in Egypt in the 1200s, when people ate psychoactive concoctions in public gardens.37 Smoking was undocumented in the eastern Mediterranean until about 1590.38

Cannabis and Tobacco in Precolonial and Colonial AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 1: In Egypt, small ceramic water pipes with coconut-shaped containers were associated with cannabis. Posed photograph: “Hashish smoker” [postcard], Egypt, c. 1905.

Credit: author’s collection.

The Quran does not mention cannabis, but Muslims began debating whether ḥashīsh was ḥarām (prohibited) by the 13th century. Soon after 1200, the Egyptian sultan determined it unacceptable and suppressed its sale and use.39 Yet ḥashīsh persisted, because subsequent rulers repeatedly prohibited it from the 1500s to 1900s.40 Despite theological concerns, Sufi mystics considered ḥashīsh an acceptable means of enhancing spirituality beginning in the 1100s in Persia.41 This practice is likely though undocumented among African Islamic mystics.

From the Red Sea to the Maghreb, cannabis was associated with coffee, which arrived in North Africa around 1500. Coffeehouses were important social institutions that hosted musicians and offered venues for conversation. Some shops sold only ḥashīsh.42 In the 1830s, these establishments offered cannabis-laced beverages and confections but more frequently sold smokeable ḥashīsh alongside tobacco, providing water pipes to patrons.43

Precolonial and colonial sources across North Africa often associated cannabis with lower social classes, particularly farmers, soldiers, slaves, and prostitutes. For instance, colonial French troops smoked cannabis with prostitutes in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia.44 In French Morocco, prostitutes spent half their income or more on alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco.45 Nonetheless, upper-class use was also amply documented, including precolonial leaders who smoked while in power.46

Maghrebian cannabis culture was distinctive. Smokers used dry pipes more commonly than water pipes and primarily consumed locally grown inflorescences and leaves.

Cannabis and Tobacco in Precolonial and Colonial AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 2: Smokers in the Maghreb used a distinctive dry-pipe design for consuming mixtures of tobacco and cannabis. Posed photograph: “Kabylie [region]—Kif smoker” [postcard], Algeria, c. 1920.

Credit: author’s collection.

In Egypt, people mostly consumed cannabis resin imported from Turkey and Syria.47 Cannabis also occupied unique social contexts. For instance, 19th-century Algerian hunters smoked before going out;48 current Moroccan fishers use cannabis to improve night vision, a pharmacologically verified effect.49

Although ḥashīsh was spoken wherever people spoke Arabic, this was not the plant’s primary name in the Maghreb. Nowadays, psychoactive cannabis is called kif, an Arabic word for a state of deep mental and spiritual awareness. In the 1800s, North Africans “made kif” as a euphemism for using cannabis, tobacco, or other substances.

Cannabis and Tobacco in Precolonial and Colonial AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 3: Water-pipe smoking was a common element in 19th-century European Orientalist art. Carl Haag. Kieff Yaoos [Sweet Repose]. 1893, pencil, ink, watercolor, and gouache on cardboard, private collection.

Credit: FA2010, WikiMedia Commons.

In the Maghreb, kif became a nickname for cannabis meaning roughly “the high.” Historically, the proper name for psychoactive cannabis was tekruri.50 This word derives from Arabic Tekrur, a historical region in what is now western Sudan. The ethnonym Tekruri eventually applied to people across the Sudanian region. The name tekruri for cannabis was also recorded in 1903 near Zinder, Niger,51 which was formerly within the Kanem-Bornu Empire. Kanem-Bornu had controlled trans-Saharan trade from the central Sudanian region between 1000 and 1850 CE, and maintained embassies in Libya and Morocco. Cannabis probably travelled north via Kanem-Bornu. The earliest Maghrebian documentation is from Morocco from 1735,52 though the Arabic-language source uses the term ḥashīsh. Cannabis was documented in Tekrur in the 1790s, when an Englishman reported ḥashīsh farming in Darfur.53

There is scant documentation of cannabis in Ethiopia. In Amharic, it is nowadays esha faris (“plant of the Persians”),54 though it may have had an earlier name.55 Archaeologists in Ethiopia have unearthed 14th-century pipes with cannabis residue, but smoking was stigmatized within Ethiopian Christianity by 1700.56 Subsequent European sources rarely record smoking, whether cannabis or tobacco, but a German traveler observed hashish-based electuaries on the Abyssinian frontier around 1866.57 The one historic account of cannabis smoking, from 1905, claims that “thief-catchers” could divine the guilty after partaking,58 which suggests the plant’s secondary name esha tenbit (“prophecy plant”).59

Sub-Saharan Cannabis Cultures

Cannabis grew in Madagascar over 2,000 years ago.60 It was first documented in 1661,61 under the names rongony (unrelated to known Asian or African names) and ahetsmanga ahetsboule (possibly related to names identified below). Its only documented use has been as a smoked drug. Antler-based water pipes were used with tobacco in 1638; bamboo-based dry pipes held cannabis about 1720 and persisted into the 1900s.62 There is no evidence that cannabis traveled from Madagascar to the mainland.

The only obvious introduction route to the sub-Saharan mainland is maritime trade across the Arabian Sea to East Africa, which began in the first millennium CE. East African cognates of Hindi bhang (“cannabis”) suggest that the plant came from South Asia.63 The historic Malagasy ahetsmanga (“manga plant”) perhaps derives from bhang. However, the similarity of names in multiple languages precludes certain identification of cultural linkages. Cannabis likely circulated as bhang (Hindi), banj (Arabic), bang (Farsi), bangi (Swahili, from Hindi, Arabic, and/or Farsi), and bangue or banga (Portuguese, from Hindi or Swahili). The ancient value cannabis had in southern Asia doubtlessly carried it into maritime networks, though not necessarily as a trade good. There is no European documentation of bhang commerce between South Asia and East Africa until 1872.64

Hindi-, Farsi-, or Arabic-speaking traders presumably introduced cannabis to the Swahili coast, perhaps by 1000 CE.65 However, many East African languages have plant names unrelated to bhang, suggesting cannabis perhaps arrived inland independently of coastal influence. Four sets of terms are noteworthy. Scant documentation exists for these traditions. First, plant names in Bantu languages in the Rwanda–Burundi area are similar to urumogi. Second, suruma is shared in geographically and linguistically distant Bantu languages in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and northern Tanzania. Third, in central Southern Africa, speakers of Sotho and related languages call cannabis matokwane. Fourth, many Bantu, Nilo-Saharan, and Ubangian languages have cannabis names beginning with a syllable like ja, from central Tanzania to South Sudan and across the northern Congo Basin into Cameroon.66 To the west, ja names gain a terminal m sound, and to the south a terminal mb. Terminal mb terms are discussed further below.

However the plant arrived, East Africans transformed its use. Pre-Columbian smoking pipes have been unearthed only inland, although European travelers observed coconut-based water pipes in Comoros in 162667 and antler-based ones in Madagascar in 1638.

Cannabis and Tobacco in Precolonial and Colonial AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 4: Smokers used many different designs of antler-based water pipes in Southern Africa. Posed photograph: “Smoker” [postcard], Swaziland/South Africa, c. 1900.

Credit: author’s collection.

Cannabis is poorly documented in East Africa. The first sub-Saharan documentation of cannabis is a Portuguese account of bangue at the mouth of the Zambezi (central Mozambique) in the 1580s.68 Arabs, Persians, and Swahilis had traded in this area since the 700s CE, the Portuguese since 1498. The document records oral consumption of cannabis, similar to contemporaneous Portuguese Indian sources. There is no subsequent documentation from East Africa until the 1790s, when people in Mozambique smoked it in antler-based water pipes69 and used it for fiber and non-psychoactive, external medicines.70 Many thin descriptions during the 1800s and early 1900s indicate the plant was primarily a smoked drug.

Cannabis slowly dispersed south and west from the Swahili coast, mostly after 1500. To the west, cognates of bangi suggest dispersal via Swahili-led trade into central Southern Africa and the northern Congo Basin. Swahili expansion in these areas occurred primarily after 1800, though cannabis dispersed under the name bangi through cultural interactions far beyond direct Swahili influence. As elsewhere, cannabis was not necessarily a commodity, but perhaps simply a useful plant. South of the Zambezi, European shipping seemingly introduced cannabis to coastal areas. First, Portuguese residents had consumed cannabis orally in India since the 1530s. Sailors on Portuguese ships likely carried the plant. Cognates of Portuguese bangue/banga occur in southern Mozambique, coastal South Africa, Angola, and also Brazil. Second, Dutch ships in the 17th century transported cannabis from Natal to Cape Town for trading with Khoesan peoples.71

Southern African cannabis is relatively well documented, especially after 1700. The plant may have arrived in the Bantu expansion like other crops, yet it became widely known under the Khoesan name dagga, first documented in 1658.72 This term was later applied to Leonotis, which people have smoked since the late 1700s as a substitute for cannabis and tobacco. Important secondary sources are confused regarding the uses and histories of cannabis and Leonotis.73 Archaeologists have found 16th-century smoking pipes in South Africa;74 17th-century accounts indicate oral dagga consumption, although these accounts likely refer to a botanical species other than Cannabis.75 Through the 1700s and 1800s, European observers who learned that dagga was cannabis decried its use as a smoked drug and not a fiber source, the primary European use.

Cannabis circulated in Southern Africa as a trade item. By the 1680s it was important in a regional exchange economy.76 The plant was one of several items exchanged between Bantu farmers and Khoesan hunter-gatherers, from South Africa to Angola.77 In Southern African Bantu groups, primarily men smoked cannabis, in recreational contexts, to suppress hunger, and as a stimulant before entering battle. Most notably, recreational smokers played games of strategy in which players corralled “cattle” with fences made of saliva bubbles blown through long reeds.78

Cannabis and Tobacco in Precolonial and Colonial AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 5: Playing saliva-bubble game while smoking antler-based water pipe, South Africa, c. 1890s. The man at left is forming a bubble on the ground through a long reed. Photograph: “Hemp smokers” [postcard], South Africa, c. 1900.

Credit: author’s collection.

Khoesan peoples consumed a variety of psychoactive plants before and alongside cannabis, in spiritual contexts and medicinal applications. Beginning in the 1700s, substance use in Khoesan communities was increasingly destructive, causing public health problems that accelerated social disintegration traceable to dispossession by European settlers. While Khoesan–Bantu trade continued, European settlers increasingly supplied alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco, starting soon after 1652 when Dutch colonists paid Khoesan laborers with these substances.79 Although 19th-century settler societies increasingly forbade cannabis as morally and/or physically harmful, they continued to supply black laborers into the 1900s.80

Farmers across Africa transformed cannabis through agricultural selection. Botanical evidence of these transformations is adequate only in Southern Africa, where people valued it as an appetite suppressant. In 1580s Mozambique, bangue “comforted [users’] stomachs [… and] sustained them several days, without eating another thing.”81 In 1883, people in southern Tanzania appreciated that it “calm[ed] the sufferings of hunger.”82 South African laborers have used cannabis to suppress hunger for over a century.83 Southern African plants produce greater amounts of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabivarin, an appetite suppressant, than other plant populations worldwide. Past farmers produced this distinctive strain by selecting plants for appetite-suppressing physiological effects.84

Finally, cannabis reached western Central Africa in the era of the Atlantic slave trade. Western African cannabis cultures seemingly trace to the middle Zambezi region, where many languages share plant names like Yao chamba, a ja term with a terminal mb sound. Cognate terms occur westward to the Atlantic, particularly diamba, liamba, and riamba. Angolan trading networks, which transported many goods in addition to enslaved people, reached continually farther inland beginning in the 1500s. Enslaved people from the Zambezi Valley began entering westward coffles in the 1720s, their numbers increasing after about 1770.85 These captives embarked at ports from southern Angola to Cabinda. By 1803, cannabis grew widely in Angola, where people smoked it in calabash-based water pipes.86 In the 1840s, a British botanist recorded that diamba came with slave coffles from the east because slavers valued it in their feeble attempts to manage slave health.87 Slave caravans continued carrying cannabis to the coast into the late 1800s.88

Slaves valued cannabis as a subsistence medicinal plant, and a stimulant. The plant grew as a weed in agriculturally marginal sites. The only known record of seed saving of any plant species by a slave in Africa is an observation from 1850s Gabon, where a man kept cannabis seeds to plant wherever he might disembark.89 Cannabis horticulture and use are briefly documented among Brazilian slaves,90 and in records of slave liberation and resettlement in St. Helena, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Jamaica.91 Central African names for cannabis occurred historically in Brazil, Jamaica, Colombia, and Panama.92 Indeed, the Central American Spanish term marihuana seemingly derives from the Kimbundu plural mariamba.93 Central African knowledge deeply underlies practices of cannabis use around the Atlantic, including Jamaican Rastafarianism, despite its more prominent South Asian roots.94 Everywhere cannabis arrived with enslaved Central Africans, other peoples rapidly adopted it. In West Africa beyond Sierra Leone and Liberia, for instance, cognates of diamba were recorded in Manding languages from Senegal to Côte d’Ivoire in the 1800s and remain widely current.

After abolition, cannabis continued to accompany Central African labor migrants. Indentured Angolan laborers grew it in São Tome by 1870.95 From Gabon to Angola and across the Congo Basin, porters used cannabis as a stimulant before embarking on their daily hikes, and at other times through the day.

Cannabis and Tobacco in Precolonial and Colonial AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 6: Porters in western Central Africa widely carried small, calabash-based water pipes among their few personal belongings while traveling in trade caravans. Posed photograph: “Bailundo porters” [postcard], Angola, photo taken 1884.

Credit: author’s collection.

European travelers sometimes bought cannabis for their porters and occasionally admitted smoking it with them.96 Cognates of Portuguese bangue in coastal Angola suggest Afro-Portuguese residents used it. An Afro-Portuguese merchant offered cannabis to entice trade at least once, about 1864, when a dealer visiting what is now southwestern Democratic Republic of Congo introduced a local leader to riamba smoking.97

This event sparked the rise, around 1870, of the Bena Riamba (“Sons of Cannabis”) political-religious movement, which became known widely through German travel accounts from the 1880s.98 It endured into the 1890s.99 The cannabis literature has sensationalized and overemphasized the Bena Riamba. In its context, the movement was an example of the social-cultural transformations that swept 19th-century Central Africa. The Bena Riamba were younger people who overthrew entrenched rulers and the sociocultural status quo. They purposefully prohibited many of the old guard’s practices and imposed their new religion, which espoused peace and social unity. Cannabis was simultaneously a sacrament, medicine, and, in the form of extremely high doses, an instrument of punishment to the Bena Riamba. The movement dissolved into political and ethnic conflict within colonial Belgian Congo.100

Central African cannabis was complexly entangled in political-economic transformations. The plant traveled with slaves and laborers, but rulers and traders who enabled slaving also used it. For the Bena Riamba, cannabis helped promote peace, yet warlords and fighters used it too, before and after battle. Current medical practice considers cannabis useful in pharmacologically managing psychological trauma, physical pain, and appetite. While it is impossible to determine why historic people valued cannabis, its pharmacology suggests that it enhanced some people’s capacities for coping with traumatic realities.

Cannabis Commerce and Legality

African cannabis markets were earliest documented in 13th-century Egypt, and 17th-century Southern Africa.101 Europeans widely observed commercial and exchange markets in all continental regions during the 1800s and early 1900s. In the Maghreb, 19th-century markets were highly formalized. By 1870, governments in precolonial Morocco and Ottoman Tunisia both began selling annual monopolies to their cannabis (and tobacco) trades.102 These monopolies continued under French rule until 1954.103

Cannabis and Tobacco in Precolonial and Colonial AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 7: Seal of the French Moroccan kif and tobacco monopoly, c. 1910.

Credit: author’s collection.

European-controlled trades arose within colonial contexts and mostly supplied hard laborers. Three major trade regions existed, including the Maghreb. In South Africa, European merchants and settlers farmed and traded in cannabis from the late 1600s into the 1900s.104 Portuguese Mozambique also supplied South African laborers via exports to British Transvaal between 1908 and 1913.105 Miners were prominent consumers in colonial Southern and Central Africa.106 Finally, cannabis trades in western Central Africa included local traders stocking locally grown cannabis, as well as formal exports from Portuguese Angola to São Tome and Gabon during the 1870s to 1900s.107

Even as these trades developed, colonial regimes increasingly suppressed cannabis. Rarely, colonial laws rose upon indigenous prohibitions, as in Madagascar, where Merina royalty forbade cannabis by 1870,108 decades before the French. Colonialists considered African cannabis an Eastern hindrance to Europe’s civilizing mission. “The tobacco introduced by the Portuguese has contended successfully against the stupefying or maddening hemp […] from the far Muhammadan north-east,” told a British administrator in Belgian Congo in 1908.109 Cannabis-control laws were enacted in Africa generally earlier than elsewhere worldwide, and were stricter too.110 Initial laws mostly aimed to improve public health, primarily by prohibiting behaviors considered detrimental to “native” health. Many laws clearly served ulterior motives, particularly labor control and religious proselytizing. British Natal’s 1870 law aimed to control Indian laborers, while Portuguese Angola’s 1913 law targeted colonial troops while also pushing farmers toward tobacco production.111 Cannabis was banned in most colonies by 1920. The plant drug first appeared in an international drug-control convention in 1925, based on the request of South Africa’s white minority government supported by newly independent Egypt,112 whose conservative authorities had suppressed cannabis since 1868 to control laborers.113 Colonial authorities accepted and encouraged some drug crops—particularly tobacco, tea, and coffee—but cannabis was excluded, despite the existence (around 1840–1940) of an international market for Western pharmaceutical preparations of cannabis, supplied primarily from British India.

Cannabis-control laws were unchanged after independence, to keep independent states in compliance with international agreements. Additionally, in a key drug-control agreement in 1961, African states disclaimed indigenous traditions of cannabis use, unlike South Asian countries that legally protected longstanding practices.114 Cannabis increasingly concerned African rulers in the 1960s and 1970s, when its use globally came to symbolize resistance to authority.115 All African states except Equatorial Guinea, Somalia, and South Sudan have signed key United Nations conventions from 1971 and 1988 that firmly prohibit cannabis.

Africans have resisted cannabis-control laws through continued production, trading, and use. Black markets grew throughout the 1900s. People smuggled hashish into Egypt under British rule and trafficked cannabis from India through the Suez Canal to supply European markets. Sierra Leonean sailors trafficked cannabis from Gambia to Nigeria;116 colonial troops carried it widely too.117 Black markets grew in the 1960s,118 and continental production has increased continually since the 1980s.119 Domestic and international markets exist widely within Africa and provide potentially lucrative but risky opportunities for farmers and traffickers.120 Only Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco currently export significantly beyond the continent, shipping hashish to Europe.121 There is very little information on current rates of use in African societies. National surveys since 1990 from Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Zambia found that 0.4–10.1 percent of adults had used during the past year,122 but a subnational study in Central African Republic found that 38.9 percent had used in the past month.123 Efforts to reform drug policy have unfolded worldwide since 2000. Lawmakers in Morocco, Rwanda, and South Africa have recently debated cannabis laws, but no African countries have decriminalized it.

African Tobacco

Although cannabis has deep roots in Africa, tobacco is the preferred smoke across the continent, and worldwide. Tobacco’s popularity in Africa predated cannabis prohibition. Tobacco quickly gained popularity following its introduction from the New World, regardless whether cannabis or smoking was earlier present.

Cannabis and Tobacco in Precolonial and Colonial AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 8: Tobacco grew in western Central Africa by 1612 and gained great cultural significance over subsequent centuries: Kongo Central Province, Democratic Republic of Congo, before 1922. Unknown artist. [Kneeling woman holding a pipe]. Before 1922, carved wood with beads and mirror piece, Brooklyn Museum.

Credit: Brooklyn Museum.

Historical Cultural Geography of Tobacco

Tobacco followed three main dispersal pathways to and within Africa. Most plant names for tobacco worldwide derive from Spanish tabaco. African cognates that lack a central m sound, as in Mandinka taba (Senegambia) and Benga tobako (Gabon), occur mostly in western Africa. Along the coast, these words came directly from European languages via commerce; the words dispersed inland with the plant. Most cognates in northern and eastern Africa include a medial m sound, including Swahili tumbako. These words derive from Arabic/Farsi tombak. Tobacco circulated widely under this name, partly because “Persian tobacco”—a specific preparation—was an important trade good. Finally, several Arabic terms other than tombak occur across the Sudanian region, indicating a trans-Saharan dispersal pathway.

European travelers returning from North America introduced tobacco and pipes to Europe in the 1560s. British, French, and Spanish travelers were among the earliest.124 Spanish travelers knew of tobacco snuffing earlier, by the 1530s.125 Europeans predominantly adopted a pipe design English travelers encountered in Virginia.126 Tobacco smoking became widely common across Europe in the 1600s, and tobacco and pipes became valuable commodities in international commerce. Iconic white-clay pipes were manufactured in northern Europe—primarily Britain and the Netherlands—based on the Virginian pipe design. However, initial West African pipe-making industries were based upon a design originally from the southern Mississippi River Valley.127 All European countries trading in Africa traded tobacco, primarily grown in American colonies. Specific European influences are evident only where plant names derive from Portuguese folha (“leaf”; primarily southeastern Africa, first documented late 1800s) or fumo (“smoke”; western Central Africa, first documented 1692128).

Introduction points and dispersal pathways for tobacco in Africa are debated.129 Primary sources record widespread introductions before 1650, including Morocco (c. 1592), Senegambia and Principé Island (c. 1600), Egypt (c. 1603), Sierra Leone (1607), Congo (1612), Cape Verde islands (1617), Liberia (1623), Comoros (1626), Eritrea (c. 1630), Libya (1636), Madagascar (1638), and Ghana, Togo, and Benin (by 1640).130 Tobacco’s popularity can be hardly overestimated, based on European sources. In Sierra Leone in 1607, an English traveler thought that tobacco “seemeth half their food”; in Ghana in 1705, men and women would allegedly “suffer hunger rather than be without”; in Namibia in 1830, Khoesan “vociferously demanded” tobacco.131 Indeed, the Dutch planted tobacco soon after they arrived in South Africa in 1652 and found that Khoesan people accepted it in exchange for labor, livestock, and land at rates that the Europeans found quite profitable.132

Cannabis and Tobacco in Precolonial and Colonial AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 9: Khoi laborer smoking European-style dry pipe, South Africa, before 1713. Unknown artist. [Sketches of farm servants] [detail]. Before 1713, pen and sepia ink on paper, National Library of South Africa.

Credit: National Library of South Africa, via Fæ, WikiMedia Commons.

In western Central Africa, tobacco was herva santa (“holy herb”) in Portuguese Creole. In many locations, tobacco was initially a luxury good, and European-style pipes status symbols. Although farmers widely grew tobacco soon after introduction, imports remained valuable.

Africans developed distinctive practices of tobacco use. Farmers grew both Nicotiana rustica and tabacum. African crops widely arose from early Portuguese tobacco trading, which was probably rustica.133 This species has stronger pharmacological effects and harsher taste than tabacum, especially when compared with cured tabacum. Native Americans developed several curing techniques that affect flavor; Europeans adopted and innovated many techniques within commercial industries. In Africa, few techniques other than air drying were described before the late 1800s, by which time people were sometimes unwilling to share processing secrets with outsiders.134 Many African societies produced several distinct products. For instance, in southern Angola, in the 1930s Ovimbundu farmers produced three types of smoking tobacco, and another for snuffing.135 Snuff was widely prepared by mixing powdering tobacco with ash from specific plants, and/or mineral substances including natron. Some European travelers disdained African tobacco products, though many appreciated them.136

Where cannabis and tobacco were both present, the two plants had different social meanings. Imported pipe designs, even when made locally, were associated with tobacco; water pipes and indigenous dry pipes mostly went with cannabis. In many societies, gender- and age-based restrictions differently limited cannabis and tobacco use. In Mozambique in 1798, for instance, men and women smoked tobacco from locally made dry pipes whose design was familiar to an English observer, whereas men smoked cannabis in unfamiliar, antler-based water pipes.137 Paraphernalia bore meanings within African societies. For example, a Vili proverb from 1890s Cabinda counseled appropriate behavior: “Put tobacco in the dry pipe, cannabis in the calabash[-based water pipe].”138 Meanings assigned to the plants often reflected their differing pharmacologies. Cannabis, which objectively produces short-term memory loss and mental distraction, was the basis for mild insults. Yao speakers (primarily Malawi and Mozambique) dismissed flowery language as having “passed through the hemp pipe,” while Algerians could dismiss somebody as a “hashish smoker, son of a hashish smoker.”139 In contrast, tobacco, which objectively reduces stress-induced anxiety, was widely complemented for its calming effects.140 Other expressions subtly praised tobacco, as in the Zulu saying “I sent him for snuff, and he brought me ashes,” which showed frustration with another’s mistake.141 The plants also had different agronomic meanings. Tobacco had greater commercial value, but was generally more expensive to produce, requiring fertile land and intensive labor. Cannabis could produce acceptably if grown on marginal land with little labor.

Finally, tobacco came to the Sudanian region from across the Sahara. Arabic-language sources partly document dispersal into the western Sudan. Most likely, English sailors introduced the plant and smoking to Morocco around 1585; tobacco and smoking arrived in Timbuktu (Mali) about 1595 with invading Moroccan troops.142 However, language geography imperfectly reflects this dispersal. Languages in Mali, Nigeria, and Benin have names for tobacco that are cognates of sara, including Yoruba ãsara and Bamanan sira. These terms likely derive from an Arabic term for snuff,143 but likely roots are undocumented in the Maghreb (although shira meant smoked cannabis in 19th-century Tunisia). Snuff was the first form of tobacco consumption known in Iberian Europe, by 1535,144 and Spanish soldiers were active in 16th-century Morocco.145 Nonetheless, the early Arabic accounts from the Maghreb and western Sudan describe pipe smoking. Maghrebian terms for tobacco are unknown until the 1800s, when it was generally known under the Arabic name dukhān (“smoke”); cognates of tombak and tobacco were undocumented until the 1900s. Both dukhān and tombek were probably spoken in Egypt during the 1600s.146 In the 1800s, dukhān was spoken in the eastern Sudanian region as well as Egypt, suggesting dispersal up the Nile Valley.

Islamic scholars began debating whether the plant drug was ḥarām as soon as it arrived. The earliest documented debates in Africa were in Morocco and Timbuktu in the 1590s.147 Theologians prohibited tobacco in many localities in the Levant and Arabia in subsequent centuries,148 but it was generally accepted because scholars did not consider it harmful. In recent decades, authorities with increased understanding of tobacco’s health risks have increasingly banned it.

In Ethiopian Christianity, smoking was stigmatized as a pagan practice by the early 1700s. Tobacco, and possibly cannabis, was consequently stigmatized.149 Nonetheless, use of both plants continued in some measure. In the 1800s, European travelers rarely noticed any smoking, though tobacco snuffing and chewing were common.

Modes of tobacco consumption varied historically and geographically. Tobacco and cannabis were often smoked in mixture, with proportions varying according to availability and taste. For instance, early-19th-century Maghrebian smokers mixed the plants though tobacco was disfavored, particularly in Morocco.150 In West Africa, tobacco was preeminent. Cannabis was not widely present or adopted until after World War II, despite its arrival in Sierra Leone and dispersal into neighboring areas by the 1850s. Mode of consumption varied too, among smoking, snuffing, and chewing. In Madagascar, for example, smoking was common in the 1600s and 1700s, but by the 1910s snuffing was common and smoking rare.151 People chewed tobacco across the continent, though rarely in the form of cut leaves, as in Europe and the Americas. Instead, people held prepared snuff in the mouth. Manufactured cigarettes rapidly supplanted pipes worldwide after about 1880.

Cannabis and Tobacco in Precolonial and Colonial AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 10: Workers in cigarette factory, Ghana, 1957. Posed photograph, The National Archives, UK.

Credit: The National Archives, UK.

Tobacco pipe smoking persisted widely in Africa into the mid-1900s, but cigarettes have become the strongly dominant form of tobacco consumption.

Political Economies of Tobacco

Tobacco was politically and economically significant almost immediately upon its arrival. Its trade value helped sustain European coastal commerce. Traders offered many goods, but tobacco and pipes proved particularly valuable at various places and times.152 Similarly, African leaders used gifts of tobacco and other substances to gain followers or strengthen their allegiance. African tobacco often outcompeted imports, thereby providing economic leverage to producing societies. For instance, Yao society (primarily Malawi and Mozambique) gained wealth by shipping tobacco and other goods to coastal traders beginning in the 1600s; this wealth helped facilitate their regional dominance especially in the 1800s, when Yao tobacco remained highly valuable on the coast.153 Similarly, farmers in northern Nigeria in the late 1800s stored tobacco until prices rose then sold it advantageously in Niger.154 This profitable northern trade enabled the farmers to invest in long-distance trading of other merchandise to southern cities. Precolonial and colonial states in the Maghreb formally harnessed tobacco by establishing monopolies to tobacco (and cannabis) trades.

Tobacco has had a complicated relationship with slavery. In the United States, slave importation exploded in the 1700s to sustain booming tobacco plantations; slave buyers sometimes paid directly with tobacco.155 Tobacco bought slaves in Africa too. Most notably, slave-grown tobacco from Bahia (Brazil) was preferred along the Slave Coast during the 1700s and 1800s. Brazilians controlled this tobacco trade and thus dominated slave buying.156 In 19th-century western Central Africa, tobacco was widely sold by the “head,” a unit suggesting a slave-trade exchange rate that has not been demonstrated. Further, tobacco enhanced the endurance of laborers, thereby strengthening labor-intensive production systems.

Cannabis and Tobacco in Precolonial and Colonial AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 11: People worldwide have valued tobacco as a calming drug while working. The miners in front center are smoking, one a cigarette and the other a pipe, South Africa, between 1890 and 1923. Frank Carpenter, Black, Chinese and White laborers in a gold mine in South Africa. Between 1890 and 1923, photographic print, Library of Congress.

Credit: Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection, The United States Library of Congress.

In 16th-century Morocco, tobacco may have initially flourished among slaves on English sugar plantations.157 In 19th-century Angola, slaves were given weekly doses of locally grown tobacco,158 and slave-ship captains under all flags sometimes circulated pipes in feeble attempts to improve slave health and morale.159 Free laborers across the continent smoked, snuffed, and chewed ad libidum. Tobacco continues to enhance labor endurance in current societies, even if it has also long provided a calming pastime to elites. Producers across the continent relied upon slave labor well into the 1900s to sustain adequate commercial supply. Child labor is widespread nowadays, particularly in Malawi and Zimbabwe, whose tobacco industries are among the world’s largest.160

Beginning in the late 1800s, tobacco was a focal crop for colonial agricultural development efforts.

Cannabis and Tobacco in Precolonial and Colonial AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 12: Cultivating tobacco seedlings, Société Franco-Camerounaise des Tabacs, Cameroon, 1965. Posed photograph, National Museum of World Cultures, The Netherlands.

Credit: Tropenmuseum, part of the National Museum of World Cultures, The Netherlands.

Few African colonies established export industries. The United States dominated global tobacco production during the 1900s, and African producers mostly supplied domestic and regional markets. Before about 1910, the preparations called “Persian tobacco” and “Turkish tobacco” were preferred in Europe and North America; afterward, “Virginia tobacco” gained favor. Successful African industries mostly arose after this shift, using U.S. commercial processing techniques. African tobacco products were not commercialized, although some industries started with indigenous varieties that suited European tastes. American seeds, however, were widely imported in the 1900s. Tobacco was important in white settler societies in East and Southern Africa. In Rhodesia, for instance, tobacco was among the earliest crops, and by 1918 the colony was committed to producing American-style tobacco.161 Across Africa, cigarette manufacturing began predominantly in the 1930s, mostly using imported tobacco; manufacturers subsequently sought to decrease imports by supplying seeds and training to farmers.162 Most manufacturers were privately owned, European-American concerns, many of which remain active in Africa. In contrast, Egypt’s primarily Greek-owned cigarette industry began earlier, by 1890, and was nationalized in 1952 by Gamal Abdel Nasser.163

Cannabis and Tobacco in Precolonial and Colonial AfricaClick to view larger

Figure 13: Christo Cassimis brand cigarette tin, Egypt, c. 1920.

Credit: Alfvanbeem, WikiMedia Commons.

Tobacco commercialization and marketing increased after World War II and under postcolonial governments, leading to the development of iconic brands as well as smoking-induced public-health problems.164

Tobacco production in the United States has declined in recent decades, allowing farmers in Africa and elsewhere to increase their production and sales. Simultaneously, tobacco consumption has decreased in the United States and Europe, which has caused international tobacco companies to seek markets elsewhere. Africa is particularly attractive because rates of tobacco use in most African countries are globally low among both men and women.165 Consequently, rates of tobacco-related cancers, particularly of the lungs, are low across the continent.166 Nonetheless, governments and non-governmental organizations have increased anti-smoking interventions in order to reduce public health risks, which are elevated by the addictiveness of nicotine as well as the political-economic power of transnational tobacco companies.

Discussion of the Literature

Relevant literature on cannabis and tobacco is uneven, because tobacco has long been prominent worldwide, whereas cannabis has been less prominent and often purposefully concealed. The primary and secondary literature on tobacco in Africa is extensive, while that on cannabis is relatively thin.

Primary Sources

Most primary sources are published European travel accounts and colonial records, as well as post-=colonial records. Archival sources and non-European primary literatures are poorly known. Key published Arabic-language sources for cannabis and tobacco are known for North Africa,167 but this literature has not been thoroughly examined. The Abyssinian record is barely known;168 any Swahili primary documents are unknown.

European primary sources for cannabis come principally from the 1800s. Scattered earlier sources exist, but prior writers gave relatively little attention to cannabis drug use worldwide. Beginning in the 1790s, cannabis drug use was increasingly noticed as a primitive and/or Eastern practice particularly within Orientalist discourse. Many European observers in Africa, however, did not know that cannabis supplied the observed drug; those who identified the plant considered its drug use a waste of a potentially valuable source of hemp fiber, the primary European value for cannabis. European disdain for cannabis drug use, followed by colonial legal prohibition, pushed human–cannabis interactions into the undocumented underground increasingly over the 1800s and almost entirely by 1940.

Many published European travel accounts and botanical sources include brief mentions of cannabis; substantial descriptions are rare. Many accounts focus on smoking pipes, which provide only indirect information on cannabis and tobacco. Documents often do not use readily recognizable terms, but instead phonetic representations of African plant names, with highly variable spelling. Key, substantial sources come from North Africa beginning in 1801,169 Central Africa beginning in 1850,170 and West Africa in 1851.171 The longest record exists for Southern Africa and Madagascar, where documents from the late 1500s to early 1900s recorded practices of cannabis use.172 No substantial accounts are known for East Africa; some brief, 19th-century sources are helpful.173 In the 20th century, many travel accounts, academic studies (particularly ethnographies and sociologies), novels, and other sources mention cannabis use, generally in urban settings and everywhere in contexts shaped by antidrug laws, which are available in official governmental publications.174

Archival holdings relating to cannabis are poorly surveyed. Recent histories of Egypt, Sierra Leone, and Democratic Republic of Congo cite documents from police and judicial archives that mention cannabis;175 similar archives elsewhere likely also hold relevant primary sources from perhaps the 1890s onward. Archival sources probably exist too for areas that had formal cannabis trades, particularly Morocco and Tunisia, but relevant collections are unknown. Finally, some archives have ethnographic collections including images of smoking, such as the Diamang Digital archive at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, which includes early-20th-century materials from the area where the Bena Riamba were active.

The primary literature on tobacco is very large. However, mentions of “tobacco” in primary sources do not necessarily refer to Nicotiana. Most Europeans in Africa were ignorant of cannabis smoking into the early 1900s, while very familiar with tobacco. In the 19th-century Atlantic world, “Angolan tobacco,” “Congo tobacco,” and “African tobacco” referred to cannabis, though many Europeans did not know what specific plant was being smoked. Africans sometimes took advantage of European unfamiliarity by calling cannabis “tobacco” in order to conceal their smoking practices.176 For instance, decades before Angola’s first anti-cannabis law (1913), some slaveholders prohibited it among their captives;177 cognates of the Kimbundu term makanha (“tobacco”) widely meant “cannabis” in western Central Africa, and maconha remains its primary name in Brazil. Some terms translated as “tobacco” in primary sources probably meant cannabis, such as Sango mbanga (Central African Republic) and Mande dyamba (Sierra Leone).178

Nonetheless, many published primary sources describe tobacco in Africa beginning about 1600.179 Europeans valued tobacco as much as Africans, and noticed and described it widely. Most travel accounts and botanical sources from about 1650 include mentions or substantial discussions of tobacco; commercial records widely provide more or less detailed information on tobacco markets. Most historical sourcebooks—collections of previously unpublished documents—include records of tobacco from across the continent for the 17th through 19th centuries.

Colonial efforts to commercialize tobacco produced extensive documentation. National archives in many countries include documents on 20th-century tobacco industries, though few collections have been substantially studied. Globally, important sets of private commercial records have become public as a result of litigation against transnational tobacco companies in the United States. Millions of documents from many companies are publicly available online in the Truth Tobacco Industry Documents archive at the University of California, San Francisco. This collection includes documents from British American Tobacco Company, which has been active widely in Africa since the early 1900s.180

Secondary Sources

Many global histories of cannabis and tobacco mention Africa. However, most global histories were written for popular audiences and often show poor research methods and analyses. Professional researchers must be especially cautious with global histories of cannabis because prohibition has stunted research on the plant; inaccurate and unfounded historical anecdotes persist widely.

The history of cannabis in Africa has been scarcely researched. Several recent papers have provided narrowly specific case studies or broad overviews.181 With one exception,182 global histories of cannabis skim over Africa. Further, global histories of drugs also neglect Africa, including the best of these works.183 Recent global histories have relied on the book Cannabis in Africa (1980),184 which provides a sound, though dated, survey of the plant’s historical geography as the preface for a sociology of cannabis use in 1970s South Africa.

Many global histories of tobacco have been published since the mid-1800s that provide reliable overviews for Africa.185 Since the 1920s, several studies have examined tobacco in Africa as a whole, or in specific areas.186 Nonetheless, the secondary literature on tobacco in Africa hardly taps the extensive primary literature.

Further Reading

Clarke, Robert, and Mark Merlin. Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013.Find this resource:

Courtwright, David. Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001.Find this resource:

du Toit, Brian. Cannabis in Africa: A Survey of Its Distribution in Africa, and a Study of Cannabis Use and Users in Multi-ethnic South Africa. Rotterdam: A. A. Balkema, 1980.Find this resource:

Duvall, Chris. Cannabis. London: Reaktion Books, 2015.Find this resource:

Fabian, Johannes. Out of Our Minds: Reason and Madness in the Exploration of Central Africa. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.Find this resource:

Gately, Iain. Tobacco: A Cultural History of How an Exotic Plant Seduced Civilization. New York: Grove, 2001.Find this resource:

Goodman, Jordan. “Webs of Drug Dependence: Towards a Political History of Tobacco.” In Ashes to Ashes: The History of Smoking and Health. Edited by S. Lock, L. A. Reynolds, and E. M. Tansey. 2d ed. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2003, 5–40.Find this resource:

Klantschnig, Gernot, Neil Carrier, and Charles Ambler, eds. Drugs in Africa: Histories and Ethnographies of Use. Gordonsville, VA: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.Find this resource:

Laufer, Berthold, Wilfrid Hambly, and Ralph Linton, eds. Tobacco and Its Use in Africa. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History, 1930.Find this resource:

Mills, James. Cannabis Britannica: Empire, Trade, and Prohibition, 1800–1928. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.Find this resource:

Philips, John. “African Smoking and Pipes.” Journal of African History 24.3 (1983): 303–319.Find this resource:

Rubert, Steven. A Most Promising Weed: A History of Tobacco Farming and Labor in Colonial Zimbabwe, 1890‒1945. Athens, OH: Ohio University Center for International Studies, 1998.Find this resource:

Shechter, Relli. Smoking, Culture and Economy in the Middle East: The Egyptian Tobacco Market 1850–2000. London: Tauris, 2006.Find this resource:

Zetterström, Kjell. “Bena Riamba: Brothers of Hemp.” Studia Ethnographica Upsaliensia 26.2 (1966): 151–166.Find this resource:


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(60.) Burney, “Pre-settlement Vegetation Changes.”

(61.) Etienne de Flacourt, Histoire de la grande isle de Madagascar (Paris: François Clouzier, 1661), 145–146.

(62.) Richard Carnac Temple, ed., The Travels of Peter Mundy in Europe and Asia, 1608–1667, vol. 3, part 2 (London: Hakluyt Society, 1919), 384; Robert Drury, Madagascar: Or, Robert Drury’s Journal, During Fifteen Years Captivity on That Island (London: Meadows. Marshall, Worrall, and Drury, 1729), 276; Ralph Linton, The Tanala: A Hill Tribe of Madagascar (Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History, 1933), 76–77.

(63.) Brian M. du Toit, Cannabis in Africa: A Survey of Its Distribution in Africa, and a Study of Cannabis Use and Users in Multi-Ethnic South Africa (Rotterdam: A. A. Balkema, 1980).

(64.) Richard F. Burton, Zanzibar; City, Island, and Coast, vol. 1 (London: Tinsley Brothers, 1872), 381.

(65.) du Toit, Cannabis in Africa.

(66.) Conceivably related to these ja terms is the historic Malagasy jermaughler, which is documented once: Drury, Madagascar, 276.

(67.) Thomas Herbert, A Relation of Some Yeares Travaile, Begunne Anno 1626 (London: William Standby and Jacob Bloome, 1634), 24.

(68.) João dos Santos, Ethiopia oriental e varia historia de covsas (Evora, Portugal: Impressa no Conuento de S. Domingos, 1609), 20B.

(69.) William White, Journal of a Voyage Performed in the Lion Extra Indiaman (London: John Stockdale, 1800), 34.

(70.) Francisco Manoel Barroso da Silva, “Descripção de algumas drogas e medicamentos da India, feita em 1799 pelos facultativos de Goa,” Archivo de Pharmacia e Sciencias Accessorias da India Portugueza 1.12 (1864): 185–191. Originally published in 1799.

(71.) David Gordon, “From Rituals of Rapture to Dependence: The Political Economy of Khoikhoi Narcotic Consumption, C. 1487–1870,” South African Historical Journal 35 (November 1996): 62–88.

(72.) H. C. V. Leibbrandt, ed., Riebeeck’s Journal, & C., January, 1656–December, 1658 (Cape Town: W. A. Richards & Sons, 1897), 129.

(73.) Gordon, “From Rituals of Rapture to Dependence,” 65.

(74.) du Toit, Cannabis in Africa.

(75.) Gordon, “From Rituals of Rapture to Dependence”; Craig Paterson, “Prohibition and Resistance: A Socio-political Exploration of the Changing Dynamics of the Southern African Cannabis Trade, C. 1850–the Present” (M.A. thesis, Rhodes University, 2009), 23–26.

(76.) Gordon, “From Rituals of Rapture to Dependence”; Craig Paterson, “Prohibition and Resistance: A Socio-political Exploration of the Changing Dynamics of the Southern African Cannabis Trade, C. 1850–the Present” (M.A. thesis, Rhodes University, 2009), 23–26.

(77.) Peter J. Mitchell, “Prehistoric Exchange and Interaction in Southeastern Southern Africa: Marine Shells and Ostrich Eggshell,” African Archaeological Review 13.1 (1996): 35–76; B. J. Brochado, “Terras do Humbe, Camba, Mulondo, Quanhama, e outras, contendo uma idéa da sua população, seus costumes, vestuarios, etc.,” Annaes do Conselho Ultramarino, Parte Não Official series 1 (November 1867): 187–197. Originally published in 1855.

(78.) C. J. G. Bourhill, “The Smoking of Dagga (Indian Hemp) among the Native Races of South Africa and the Resultant Evils” (PhD diss., University of Edinburgh, 1913); Tim Maggs, “Neglected Rock Art: The Rock Engravings of Agriculturist Communities in South Africa,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 50.162 (1995): 132–142.

(79.) L’Abbé Prevost, “Histoire Naturelle Du Cap De Bonne-Esperance & Des Pays Voisins [De Peter Kolben, 1713],” in Histoire Générale Des Voyages, vol. 6, ed. L’Abbé Prevost (The Hague: Pierre de Hondt, 1748), 513; Leibbrandt, Riebeeck’s Journal, 129.

(80.) Paterson, “Prohibition and Resistance,” 23–26, 50.

(81.) dos Santos, Ethiopia oriental, 20B.

(82.) Victor Giraud, Les lacs d’Afrique Équatoriale. Voyage d’exploration éxécuté de 1883 à 1885 (Paris: Librairie Hachette, 1890), 73.

(83.) Bourhill, “The Smoking of Dagga”; Karl Peltzer et al., “Illicit Drug Use and Treatment in South Africa,” Substance Use and Misuse 45.13 (2010): 126–131.

(84.) Chris S. Duvall, “Drug Laws, Bioprospecting, and the Agricultural Heritage of Cannabis in Africa,” Space and Polity 20.1 (2016): 10–25.

(85.) Joseph C. Miller, Way of Death: Merchant Capitalism and the Angolan Slave Trade, 1730–1839 (Madison: Wisconsin University Press, 1988).

(86.) J.-B. Douville, Voyage au Congo et dans l’interieur de l’Afrique equinoxiale, fait dans les années 1828, 1829, et 1830, vol. 1 (Paris: Chez Jules Renouard, 1832); Antonio de Saldanha da Gama, Memoria sobre as colonias de Portugal: Situadas na costa occidental d’Afrique (Paris: Typographia de Casimir, 1839).

(87.) William F. Daniell, “On the D’amba, or Dakka, of Southern Africa,” Pharmaceutical Journal and Transactions 9.8 (1850): 363–365.

(88.) António Francisco Ferreira da Silva Porto, Viagens e apontamentos de um Portuense em África (Lisbon: Agência Geral das Colónias, 1942), 231. Originally published in c. 1885.

(89.) Paul B. Du Chaillu, Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa, 1st ed. (New York: Harper, 1861), 420.

(90.) Richard F. Burton, Explorations of the Highlands of Brazil, vol. 2 (London: Tinsley, 1869); Francisco Manuel Carlos de Mello, Conde de Ficalho, Plantas Úteis Da África Portuguesa, 2d ed. (Lisbon: Agéncia Geral das Colónias, 1947). Originally published in 1884.

(91.) R. O. Clarke, “Short Notice of the African Plant Diamba, Commonly Called Congo Tobacco,” Hooker’s Journal of Botany 3 (1851): 9–11; Johann Büttikofer, Reisebilder Aus Liberia. II Band (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1890); George M’Henry, “An Account of the Liberated African Establishment at St. Helena,” Simmond’s Colonial Magazine 5 (1845): 437; document in the British National Archives: Richard Hill to David Ewart, June 25, 1862, enclosed in no. 106, Edward Eyre to Duke of Newcastle, November 8, 1862, CO 137/368.

(92.) Duvall, Mariamba.

(93.) Nicolás del Castillo Mathieu, “El léxico Negro-Africano de San Basilio de Palenque,” Thesaurus 39.1–3 (1984): 143; Yeda Pessoa de Castro, “Towards a Comparative Approach to Bantuisms in Iberoamerica,” in Africamericas: Itineraries, Dialogues, and Sounds, eds. Ineke Phaf-Rheinberger and Tiago de Oliveira Pinto (Madrid: Iberoamericana, 2008), 86.

(94.) Kenneth Bilby, “The Holy Herb: Notes on the Background of Cannabis in Jamaica,” Caribbean Quarterly monograph (1985): 82–95.

(95.) Manuel Ferreira Ribeiro, Relatorio ácerca do Serviço de Saude Publica na Provincia de S. Thomé e Principe no Anno de 1869 (Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional, 1871), 104.

(96.) Henrique Augusto Dias de Carvalho, Expedição Portugueza ao Muatiânvua: Descripção da Viagem à Mussumba do Muatiânvua, vol. 4: Do Liembe ao Calanhe e Regresso a Lisboa (Lisbon: Typographia do Jornal, 1894), 430; Richard F. Burton, Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo, vol. 2 (London: Sampson Low, Marston, Low, and Searle, 1876), 296; Dick Hobson, “A Hunting Trip to Mozambique in 1868,” Geographical Journal 149.2 (1983): 208.

(97.) Henrique Augusto Dias de Carvalho, O Lubuco: Algumas observações sobre o livro do Sr. Latrobe Bateman (Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional, 1890), 9.

(98.) Hermann von Wissmann et al., Im innern Afrikas: Die Erforschung des Kassai während der Jahre 1883, 1884, und 1885, 3d ed. (Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1891).

(99.) Kjell Zetterström, “Bena Riamba: Brothers of Hemp,” Studia Ethnographica Upsaliensia 26.2 (1966): 151–166; A. De Clerq, “Le chanvre chez les Bena Lulua,” Congo 9.1 (1928): 504–514.

(100.) Zetterström, “Bena Riamba”; Johannes Fabian, Out of Our Minds: Reason and Madness in the Exploration of Central Africa (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000).

(101.) Gordon, “From Rituals of Rapture to Dependence”; Paterson, “Prohibition and Resistance,” 23–26; Rosenthal, The Herb.

(102.) Godard, Description et histoire; Léon Say and Joseph Chailley, Nouveau dictionnaire d’économie politique, vol. 2: I–Z (Paris: Guillaumin, 1892), 972.

(103.) Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy, “Production de cannabis et de haschich au Maroc: Contexte et enjeux,” L’Espace Politique 4.1 (2008): article 59.

(104.) Paterson, “Prohibition and Resistance,” 50; C. Garth Sampson. “‘Zeer Grote Liefhebbers Van Tobak’: Nicotine and Cannabis Dependency of the Seacow River Bushmen,” The Digging Stick 10.1 (1993): 2–6.

(105.) The Foreign Office and The Board of Trade, ed., Portugal: Report for the Year 1914 on the Trade and Commerce of Lourenço Marques and Other Portuguese Possessions in East Africa (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1916); The Foreign Office and The Board of Trade, ed., Portugal: Report for the Year 1911 on the Trade and Commerce of the Portuguese Possessions in East Africa (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1912).

(106.) Paterson, “Prohibition and Resistance,” 50; Ann A. Laudati, “Out of the Shadows: Negotiations and Networks in the Cannabis Trade in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo,” in Drugs in Africa: Histories and Ethnographies of Use, eds. Gernot Klantschnig, Neil Carrier, and Charles Ambler (Gordonsville, VA: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014); John Higginson, A Working Class in the Making: Belgian Colonial Labor Policy, Private Enterprise, and the African Mineworker, 1907–1951 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1990).

(107.) Charles Ivens, “L’Angola méridional,” Société d’Études Coloniales (Belgium) 5.5 (1898): 233–269; M. Trivier, “D'Ambriz au Gabon,” Bulletin de la Société de Géographie de Rochefort 8 (1887): 203–211.

(108.) James Sibree, Madagascar and Its People (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1870), 215.

(109.) Harry Johnston, George Grenfell and the Congo: A History and Description of the Congo Independent State and Adjoining Districts of Congoland, vol. 1 (London: Hutchinson, 1908), 78.

(110.) Duvall, “Drug Laws.”

(111.) Duvall, “Drug Laws.”

(112.) James H. Mills, Cannabis Britannica: Empire, Trade, and Prohibition, 1800–1928 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).

(113.) Kozma, “Cannabis Prohibition in Egypt.”

(114.) Duvall, “Drug Laws.”

(115.) Paterson, “Prohibition and Resistance”; Gernot Klantschnig, “Histories of Cannabis Use and Control in Nigeria, 1927–1967,” in Drugs in Africa: Histories and Ethnographies of Use, eds. Gernot Klantschnig, Neil Carrier, and Charles Ambler (Gordonsville, VA: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014); Stephen Ellis, “West Africa's International Drug Trade,” African Affairs 108.431 (2009): 171–196.

(116.) Emmanuel Akyeampong, “Diaspora and Drug Trafficking in West Africa: A Case Study of Ghana,” African Affairs 104.416 (2005): 429–447.

(117.) du Toit, Cannabis in Africa.

(118.) Ellis, “West Africa's International Drug Trade”; Klantschnig, “Histories of Cannabis.”

(119.) Pascale Perez and Laurent Laniel, “Croissance et… croissance de l’économie du cannabis en Afrique subsaharienne,” Hérodote 112.1 (2004): 122–138.

(120.) Chouvy, “Production de cannabis et de haschich au Maroc”; Laudati, “Out of the Shadows”; Julian Bloomer, “Using a Political Ecology Framework to Examine Extra-legal Livelihood Strategies: A Lesotho-Based Case Study of Cultivation of and Trade in Cannabis,” Journal of Political Ecology 16 (2008): 49–69; Thembela Kepe, “Cannabis Sativa and Rural Livelihoods in South Africa: Politics of Cultivation, Trade and Value in Pondoland,” Development Southern Africa 20.5 (2003): 605–615; Laurent Laniel, Producing Cannabis in Africa South of the Sahara: A Review of OGD Findings in the 1990s, (Oxford: International Workshop on Drugs and Alcohol in Africa, Oxford University, 2006).

(121.) United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report 2015 (New York: United Nations, 2015).

(122.) Louisa Degenhardt et al. “What Data Are Available on the Extent of Illicit Drug Use and Dependence Globally?.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence 117.2–3 (2011): 85–101.

(123.) Casey Roulette, Mirdad Kazanji, Sébastien Breurec, and Edward Hagen. “High Prevalence of Cannabis Use among Aka Foragers of the Congo Basin and Its Possible Relationship to Helminthiasis,” American Journal of Human Biology 28.1 (2016): 5–15.

(124.) Thurstan Shaw, “Early Smoking Pipes: In Africa, Europe, and America,” The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 90.2 (1960): 272–305.

(125.) A. Ernst, “On the Etymology of the Word Tobacco,” American Anthropologist 2.2 (1889): 133–142.

(126.) Shaw, “Early Smoking Pipes.”

(127.) Shaw, “Early Smoking Pipes.”

(128.) Berthold Laufer, “The Introduction of Tobacco into Africa,” in Tobacco and Its Use in Africa: Anthropology Leaflet 29, eds. Berthold Laufer, Wilfrid D. Hambly, and Ralph Linton (Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History, 1930), 9.

(129.) Paul Ozanne, “The Diffusion of Smoking in West Africa,” Odu 2 (1969): 29–42.

(130.) Bosc-Tiessé, “La tête qui fume ”; Laufer, “The Introduction of Tobacco.,” 9; Ozanne, “The Diffusion of Smoking”; Herbert, A Relation of Some Yeares Travaile, 24; Stanley B. Alpern, “What Africans Got for Their Slaves: A Master List of European Trade Goods,” History in Africa 22 (1995): 5–43; R. Mauny, “Notes historiques autour des principales plantes cultivées d'Afrique occidentale,” Bulletin de l’IFAN 15 (1953): 684–730.

(131.) Willem Bosman, A New and Accurate Description of the Coast of Guinea, Divided into the Gold, the Slave, and the Ivory Coasts (London: Knapton et al., 1705), 306; W. F. W. Owen, Narrative of Voyages to Explore the Shores of Africa, Arabia, and Madagascar, vol. 2 (London: Richard Bentley, 1833), 229; Samuel Purchas, ed., Hakluytus Posthumus or Purchas His Pilgrims, vol. 4 (Glasgow: James MacLehose, 1905), 4.

(132.) Gordon, “From Rituals of Rapture to Dependence.”

(133.) Laufer, “The Introduction of Tobacco,” 9.

(134.) For instance: James Augustus Grant, A Walk across Africa: Or, Domestic Scenes from My Nile Journal (Edinburgh: William Blackwood, 1864), 157.

(135.) Wilfrid D. Hambly, The Ovimbundu of Angola, Publications of the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History, 1934), 151–152.

(136.) Grant, A Walk across Africa, 157; Jean-Baptiste Labat, Nouvelle Relation De L’afrique Occidentale, vol. 3 (Paris: Giffart, 1728), 220.

(137.) White, Journal of a Voyage, 34–35, 68.

(138.) Richard Edward Dennett, Notes on the Folklore of the Fjort (French Congo) (London: David Nutt, 1898), 154.

(139.) E. Daumas, La vie Arabe et la société musulmane (Paris: Michel Lévy Frères, 1869), 103; Ernest Gray, “Some Proverbs of the Nyanja People,” African Studies 3.3 (1944): 106.

(140.) Laufer, “The Introduction of Tobacco.”

(141.) Dudley Kidd, The Essential Kafir (London: Adam and Charles Black, 1904), 56.

(142.) Ozanne, “The Diffusion of Smoking.”

(143.) Leo Wiener, Africa and the Discovery of America, vol. 1 (Philadelphia: Innes & Sons, 1920), 110–111; J. E. T. Aitchinson, “Notes to Assist in a Further Knowledge of the Products of Western Afghanistan and of North-eastern Persia,” Transactions of the Botanical Society (Edinburgh) 18.54 (1891): 239.

(144.) Ernst, “On the etymology.”

(145.) Mauny, “Notes Historiques,” 721.

(146.) Ozanne, “The Diffusion of Smoking.,” 29.

(147.) Ozanne, “The Diffusion of Smoking.,” 34.

(148.) M. A. Albar, “Islamic Teachings and Cancer Prevention,” Journal of Family and Community Medicine 1 (1994): 79–86.

(149.) Bosc-Tiessé, “La tête qui fume.”

(150.) Ernest Alby, Histoire des prisonniers français en Afrique depuis la conquête, vol. 2 (Paris: Chez Desessart, 1847), 266; Lieutenant Washington, “Geographical Notice of the Empire of Morocco,” The Geographical Journal 1.1 (1832): 146.

(151.) Carnac Temple, The Travels of Peter Mundy, 384.

(152.) Alpern, “What Africans Got for Their Slaves.”

(153.) Edward A. Alpers, Ivory and Slaves: Changing Pattern of International Trade in East Central Africa (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975).

(154.) Polly Hill, “Notes on the History of the Northern Katsina Tobacco Trade ” Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria 4.3 (1968): 477–481.

(155.) Allan Kulikoff, Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake 1680–1800 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986); Wendy Wilson-Fall, Memories of Madagascar and Slavery in the Black Atlantic (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2015), 100.

(156.) Alpern, “What Africans Got for Their Slaves”; Miller, Way of Death, 462.

(157.) Ozanne, “The Diffusion of Smoking,” 37.

(158.) Joachim John Monteiro, Angola and the River Congo, vol. 2 (London: MacMillan, 1875), 26.

(159.) Marcus Rediker, The Slave Ship: A Human History (New York: Viking, 2007).

(160.) International Program on the Elimination of Child Labour, Child Labour, Tobacco, and AIDS, 2d ed. (Geneva: International Labour Organization, 2011).

(161.) Steven C. Rubert, A Most Promising Weed: A History of Tobacco Farming and Labor in Colonial Zimbabwe, 1890‒1945 (Athens, OH: Ohio University Center for International Studies, 1998).

(162.) Howard Cox, The Global Cigarette: Origins and Evolution of British American Tobacco, 1880–1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).

(163.) Relli Shechter, Smoking, Culture and Economy in the Middle East: The Egyptian Tobacco Market 1850–2000 (London: Tauris, 2006).

(164.) E. Owusu-Dabo et al., “Smoking in Ghana: A Review of Tobacco Industry Activity,” Tobacco Control 18 (2009): 206–211.

(165.) Marie Ng et al., “Smoking Prevalence and Cigarette Consumption in 187 Countries, 1980–2012,” Journal of the American Medical Association 311.2 (2014): 183–192.

(166.) Lindsey Torre et al., “Global cancer statistics, 2012,” CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 65.2 (2015): 87–108.

(167.) See references in: Lozano Cámara, “Terminología científica”; Lozano, “El uso terapéutico del Cannabis”; Ozanne, “The Diffusion of Smoking.”

(168.) See references in: Bosc-Tiessé, “La tête qui fume.”

(169.) Dukerley, “Note Sur Les Différences”; Lane, An Account of the Manners and Customs, vols. 1–2; Rouyer, “Notice Sur Les Médicaments Usuels Des Égyptiens,” in Description de l’Égypte, ed. Commission des sciences et des artes d’Égypte (Paris: Imprimerie Impériale, 1809): 217–232.

(170.) Daniell, “On the D'amba, or Dakka, of Southern Africa.”; Du Chaillu, Explorations and Adventures; Wissmann et al., Im innern; Monteiro, Angola and the River Congo, vol. 2; Ficalho, Plantas úteis da África Portuguesa.

(171.) Clarke, “Short Notice of the African Plant Diamba.”

(172.) Prevost, “Histoire Naturelle”; dos Santos, Ethiopia Oriental; White, Journal of a Voyage; Barroso da Silva, “Descripção de algumas drogas”; Flacourt, Histoire de la grande isle de Madagascar; Leibbrandt, Riebeeck’s Journal; Bourhill, “The Smoking of Dagga”; François Le Vaillant, Voyage de M. Le Vaillant dans l’interieur de l’Afrique, vol. 2 (Paris: Leroy, 1790).

(173.) Giraud, Les lacs d’Afrique équatoriale; Richard F. Burton, The Lake Regions of Central Africa: A Picture of Exploration (New York: Harper, 1860).

(174.) Duvall, “Drug Laws.”

(175.) Kozma, “Cannabis Prohibition in Egypt”; Akyeampong, “Diaspora and Drug Trafficking ”; Higginson, A Working Class in the Making.

(176.) Gilberto Freyre, O escravo nos anuncios de jornais Brasileiros do seculo XIX, 2d ed. (São Paulo: Companhia Editora Nacional, 1979), 79–80.

(177.) Monteiro, Angola and the River Congo, vol. 2, 257.

(178.) Maurice Delafosse, La langue Mandingue et ses dialects (Malinké, Bambara, Dioula), vol. 1 (Paris: Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner, 1929); J. Calloc’h, Vocabulaire Français-Sango et Sango-Français (Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1911).

(179.) Laufer, “The Introduction of Tobacco”; Ozanne, “The Diffusion of Smoking”; Mauny, “Notes historiques.”

(180.) Cox, The Global Cigarette.

(181.) Akyeampong, “Diaspora and Drug Trafficking”; Kozma, “Cannabis Prohibition in Egypt”; Gordon, “From Rituals of Rapture to Dependence”; Duvall, “Drug Laws”; Perez and Laniel, “Croissance”; Klantschnig, “Histories of Cannabis Use”; Laudati, “Out of the Shadows.”

(182.) Duvall, Cannabis.

(183.) David Courtwright, Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001).

(184.) du Toit, Cannabis in Africa.

(185.) Neglected older works include: O. Comes, Histoire, géographique, statistique du tabac (Naples: Typographie Coopérative, 1900); Charles Fermond, Monographie du tabac (Paris: Napoléon Chaix, 1857).

(186.) Laufer, “The Introduction of Tobacco”; Ozanne, “The Diffusion of Smoking”; Rubert, A Most Promising Weed; Shechter, Smoking, Culture and Economy.