What to put in the peace pipes?

The use of psychoactive plant substances such as tobacco and certain herbs has a long Tradition. The shamans and healers of earlier cultures use the smoke to st

What to put in the peace pipes?

The use of psychoactive plant substances such as tobacco and certain herbs has a long Tradition. The shamans and healers of earlier cultures use the smoke to stimulate, to medicinal purposes or in rituals. Also in the case of the indigenous people of North America the Smoking of the pipe had a firm place in the cultural and religious Events. "From archaeological finds in this Region, we know pipes, which are 4000 to 5000 years old," reports Korey Brownstein of the Washington State University and his colleagues.

New look for the presence of residues of old Indian pipes

But what the Indians smoked the time in these pipes was, as yet, unclear. Although we know from the time after the first contact with Europeans, the tribes of North America smoked up to 100 different plants, including four varieties of tobacco. But what is put in front of it in the bowl, remained unknown. Because current methods to identify plant remains in vessels or pipes on certain biomarkers such as nicotine, are not accurate enough to determine the species. Therefore, Brownstein and his Team of residues in two old pipes from the North – West of the USA now have a to the time around 500 ad, and from the 18. Century, with a broader method.

the scientists used first, according to the old pattern of newly constructed pipes, to burn a series at the time, in the North-West of the USA, growing herbs and TOBACCOS. The residue they analyzed using the gas Chromatography-mass spectrometry. The same analysis led to Brownstein and his Team stands, then with the rear from the archaeological finds. In this way, you are able to determine by comparing the characteristic element signatures, what types of plants smoked by the Indians once in these pipes.

of Domestic tobacco and other herbs

It showed: The older, long before the arrival of the first Europeans used pipe contained residue, the tobacco variety Nicotiana quadrivalvis. "This species no longer occurs today in the state of Washington, but Reports indicate that it was cultivated by the Indian tribes of the Pacific Northwest used to smoke," said Brownstein and his colleagues. In addition, this pipe contained, however, also residues of the Smooth sumac (Rhus glabra). "This is the first evidence of a Non-tobacco plant in an archaeological pipe", say the researchers. "We suspect that the sumac could have been mixed because of its medical effect, and to improve the smoke flavor with the tobacco."

the contents of The second pipe differed from it significantly. Instead of the previously locally grown tobacco variety Nicotiana quadrivalvis, the residues of this Indian pipe are from the 18th century. Century of the variety and Nicotiana rustica. "This reflects a change in preference," says Brownstein and his Team. For N. rustica was stronger, and contained more nicotine, so many Indian groups from the North moved West, apparently, by the time of the weaker native variety from the East of North America master variety.

"Our finds show that the native communities interacted with each other and also tobacco and tobacco seeds traded with each other," explains brown stone Mrs Shannon Tushingham. Contrary to popular opinion, this exchange took place, as the Europeans had already begun TOBACCOS from South and Central America. Our research casts doubt on the popular view that the Europeans of the tobacco grown replaced soon after the initial contact, the use of the Indians cultivated varieties complete," says the researcher.

source: Washington State University; article: Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, doi: 10.3389/fmolb.2020.00133

*The post "What to put in the peace pipes?" is published by Wissenschaft.de. Contact with the executives here.

Updated Date: 30 June 2020, 04:27

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