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Cows, Cannabis and Africa

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
While doing some overdue research on marijuana's migrational history, I came upon this little nugget:

Certainly cannabis was, and still is, widely used for recreational purposes in Muslim countries and this was certainly the case in Arabic Egypt. The diffusion of the plant into sub-Saharan Africa seems to have been partly due to migrant communities of Muslims from the north and to Arab merchants trading along the east African coast. Although it seems difficult to believe cannabis was not, at least according to some experts, present in West Africa before the Second World War.
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In a source cited by Brian Du Toit, the famous explorer David Livingstone describes the use of matokwane (cannabis) by the Makololo people:

we had ample opportunity for observing the effects
of this matokwane smoking on our men.

It makes them feel very strong in body,
but it produces exactly the opposite effect upon the mind.

Two of our finest young men became inveterate smokers, and partially idiotic.

The performances of a group of matokwane smokers are
somewhat
grotesque;

they are provided with a calabash of pure water,

a split bamboo, five feet long,

the great pipe,

which has a large calabash of kudu's horn chamber to contain the water, through which the smoke is drawn Narghille fashion,
on its way to the mouth.

Each smoker takes a few whiffs,
the last being an extra long one,

and hands the pipe to his neighbour.

He seems to swallow the fumes;
for, striving against the convulsive action of the muscles of the chest and throat,
he takes a mouthful of water from the calabash,
waits a few seconds,
and then pours water and smoke from his mouth down the groove of the bamboo.

The smoke causes violent coughing in all,
and
in some
a species of frenzy
which passes away in a rapid stream of unmeaning words,

or short sentences,
as,

'the green grass grows',

'the fish swim'

'the fat cattle thrive',
 
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