It is interesting to learn the history and tradition of Hookah since its invention. Hookah has seen a lot of transformation. The name Shisha, as Hookah is called in Egypt and other Arab countries has been transformed from the Arabic word ‘galian’ which means ‘boiling root’ due to its sound. Shisha comes from the Persian word ‘shishe’ the meaning of which is glass. It is believed that the hookah tradition in Egypt and Persia began in the 17th century; however, archaeologists discovered hookah-like devices in other regions that suggest they existed around 8000 BC.
Ancient Hookah Smoking in Egypt
You would be staggered to know that in ancient times, locals of Egypt preferably used carved pumpkins for smoking shisha. Then there were other reusable and resistant hookahs made of bones, stone and even baked clay. The tradition of hookah smoking tended to enhance and evolve other years with the development of bronze and copper processing. Undoubtedly, hookah smoking was the most popular form of relaxing amusement and pastime for people back then. Many say that the tradition of waterpipe smoking arrived from India to the different Middle East countries as there was a steady development of trade and commercial relations between them. Besides, weapons and household items, hookahs were another expensive item that was often traded during the early middle ages.
Over time, Hookah saw several modifications. Even the size of the Hookah has also changed. Gradually, Hookahs became an essential part of the culture and tradition of Egypt and other countries. Since then, Hookah got its present value of being a source of pleasure, entertainment, and relaxation.
Did you know that in ancient times, offering someone to smoke Hookah was a sign of trust and respect? And withholding it was a big insult. It used to be smoked after Royal dinners and meetings. Hookahs held an essential place in the high-class society and signified status. It was in Egypt, the traditional tobacco was reformed into modern tobacco by mixing molasses or honey into it. Gradually, dried lemon, watermelon, mint, grapes and other flavors were added to the tobacco. Hookah became such a cohesive part of the society that hookah cafes were built to accommodate the growing demand.
Features of Traditional Egyptian Hookahs
The real and traditional Egyptian Hookahs are still handcrafted with the old-fashioned hookah-making methods conserved over centuries. Every artisan has an individual cultural and design identity in their piece. Needless, to say, every part of the Hookah speaks of high-quality craftsmanship and artistry. The Egyptian hookah bases are made of glasses and are available in many shapes and colors with hand-painted design patterns. A band of 18K gold paint is a signature part of an authentic Egyptian hookah. Even the hoses are handmade with conventional material but vary in color, fashion and decoration. If you don’t know, Egyptian Hookahs has their shafts made of stainless-steel, chrome-plated brass, brass but never with Aluminum. Egyptian hookahs use bowls made of rich clay from the Nile River, which features the intimate artistic touch of the Egyptian craftsmen.
Egyptian Hookahs is much more than a tradition, or leisurely pastime. It is a matter of status, trust and respect in the old days, a means of socialization for centuries that still exists today. Every part of a Traditional Egyptian Hookah is handmade using conventional methods and materials and speaks of the superior craftsmanship of the hookah artisans!