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Native Americans and snuff

GormurGormur Member
I figured I'd ask this here.  Does anybody know if Native Americans exclusively used rustica or did they use other varieties of tobacco as well?

Peace

Comments

  • SHbickelSHbickel Member
    The experts say both N. tabacum and N. rustica originated in South America around 200,000 years ago.  N. rustica still grows in the wild in Central America. N. tabacum produces more tobacco per plant and its smoke is less irritating, making it a good choice for mass production

    Tobacco companies have modified N. tabacum to enhance certain traits for flavor or growth. So today’s version—much like other commercialized crops—bears little resemble to its ancestors, says Ramsey Lewis, a professor of crop science who focuses on Nicotiana genetics at North Carolina State University. Now, he says, N. tabacum is rarely found in nature.

    I cut the italicized text from this article: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-fight-to-keep-tobacco-sacred/ ; They don't mention nasal usage in Native populations, but it was a good read.
  • volungevolunge Member
    edited May 20 PM
    Other species of Nicotiana genus (Indian tobacco - Nicotiana quadrivalvis) were also used, perhaps before the introduction of N. rustica in N. America. It seems that blending with other herbs and bark of some shrubs, like smooth sumac (for smoking) wasn't uncommon among some indigenous peoples: http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/non-tobacco-plant-pre-columbian-native-american-pipe-08593.html

    Rustica wasn't endemic in N. America and supposedly was introduced later. This report covers rustica use in Canada:
    https://www.smoke-free.ca/pdf_1/2009/History of tobacco control in Canada.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3uSbYwY8MWDRSNyjqGqHkzAMm2kWRXht8PneE33eO0nnqKNQ6D5p5XHaA , read the first two chapters - 'The earliest tobacco growers' and 'Tobacco use in early French Canada'.

    The use of psychoactive snuff in Precolumbian America (particularly in Central and South America) is well documented. Just one quotation from a random source: "Smoking pipes from NW Argentina and associated Anadenanthera seeds, dated to c. 2130
    B.C., and snuff trays and tubes from the central Peruvian coast (c. 1200 B.C.), represent the
    most ancient use of psychoactive plants in South America. Chavin (c. 1000-300 B.C.), one of
    the most complex cultures during the formative period in Precolumbian Peru, clearly displays
    imagery directly related to psychoactive plant use in public monumental stone sculpture and
    architecture. San Pedro de Atacama, located in the desert of northern Chile, is the region with
    the most intensive use. Approximately 20-22% of the male population was using snuff powders
    between the third and the tenth centuries A.D." (Constantino Manuel Torres,
    ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE FOR THE ANTIQUITY
    OF PSYCHOACTIVE PLANT USE IN THE CENTRAL ANDES,

    https://www.fondazionemcr.it/UploadDocs/17_art10.pdf.)
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