THE HOOKAH SMOKING TRADITION
‘Hookah’ from the Urdu word, huqqa, meaning pot or jar.
Hookahs have been part of the party for hundreds of years. This popular social practice has its roots in medieval India and today is entrenched in the cultures of the Middle East—and increasingly, America.
Historians credit an Indian doctor named Hakim Abul Fateh with the first recorded use of hookah. Fateh was the doctor to the Mughal emperor Akbar (1542-1605). He is said to have hit upon the idea of ‘purifying’ smoke by passing it through water because he was worried about the health risks of smoking tobacco.
The practice caught on quickly across India, the Ottoman Empire, the Persian Empire and parts of northern Africa. The first hookahs were made of wood and coconut shells, but they soon took on more decorate and technical forms.
Thanks to their splendid designs and unique ability to be shared by several people at once, hookahs became part of the ritual at social gatherings from diplomatic meetings to intellectual discussions, coffee houses and private parties.
Each culture added a twist to the Indian tradition. Nargileh, sheesha, and later, hubbly bubbly, were added to the growing list of names for the popular smoking devices. The stems grew up to 7” tall, engraved with delicate patterns. Inventive tobacco producers would conjure up tastes from watermelon to mint chocolate.
Today, the hookah may be less visible at state functions but it still has enormous power to bring people together. More and more people are discovering the time-honored joys of sharing a flavorsome hookah with family or friends, after a meal or during a night out of music and dancing.
We only carry MYA Hookahs at Kronic. MYA has played a key role in the evolution of the hookah since 1863, pushing the boundaries of design and artistry. Their Hookahs are expertly crafted for maximum smoking and aesthetic pleasure. We’re proud to be helping to spread the enjoyment of this tradition to people around the world.
Parts of the Hookah and Hookah Accessories:
Tobacco burner (or head) The topmost component of the hookah is made of clay or ceramic, and comes in different colors and designs. The burner holds both the tobacco and the charcoal placed above it, allowing for good heat distribution.
Plate: Resting beneath the head, the stainless steel, rust-proof plate safely collects any charcoal or embers that may fall. Available in silver and gold colors.
Hose: Our new, fashionable hoses are covered with colored leather, with one wooden end connecting to the stem’s hose port and the other containing the smoking mouthpiece. To prevent residue build-up, the hose’s rustproof interior surface can be easily washed with soap and water after use.
Stem: This solid brass stem connects to the base and includes grommets to insure tight fit. Available in different sizes, colors and allows for easy cleaning with soap and water.
Vase: The vase holds the water during smoking. It comes in different styles, colors and shapes. We offer three types of vases. Handmade bohemian glass, crystal, and acrylic. We traditionally etch our intricate designs by hand using gold and platinum.
Tongs: Silver or gold tongs used to handle the charcoal.
Grommets: These are used to create airtight fits between the various parts of the hookah in order to prevent odors or leaking.
Carrying case: For your comfort and convenience. We designed the world’s first carrying case. Cases come in various shapes, sizes to fit your Hookah.
Hookah accessories will give you an even great hookah smoking experience.
A hookah (hukkā or huqqah) also known as a waterpipe,]arghile, or qalyān is a single or multi-stemmed instrument for smoking flavored tobacco called shisha in which the smoke is passed through a water basin (often glass based) before inhalation. The origin of the hookah is around the area which includes India and Persia, or at a transition point between the two. The word hookah is a derivative of "huqqa", which is what the Indians used to call it. According to author Cyril Elgood, who does not mention his source, it was Abul-Fath Gilani, a Persian physician at the Indian court of the Mughal emperor Akbar, who "first passed the smoke of tobacco through a small bowl of water to purify and cool the smoke and thus invented the hubble-bubble or hookah." Nevertheless, a quatrain of Ahli Shirazi refers to the use of the ḡalyān in Safavid Iran. Smoking the hookah has gained popularity outside of its native region, in India, Pakistan and the Middle East, and is gaining popularity in North America, South America, Europe, Australia, Southeast Asia, Tanzania and South Africa. Names and etymology Nargile (but sometimes pronounced Argileh or Argilee) is the name most commonly used in Syria, Armenia, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine. Nargile derives from the Persian word nārghile, meaning coconut, which in turn is from the Sanskrit word nārikela, suggesting that early hookahs were hewn from coconut shells. In Albania, the hookah is called "lula" or "lulava" in Romani, meaning "pipe"; the word "Tub" refers to the actual bottle piece. In Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria, na[r]gile (на[р]гиле; from Persian nargile) is used to refer to the pipe. Šiša refers to the tobacco that is smoked in it. pipes there often have one or two mouth pieces. The flavored tobacco, created by marinating cuts of placed above the water and covered by pierced foil with hot coals placed on top, and the smoke is drawn through cold water to cool and filter it. "Narguile", is the common word in Spain used to refer to the pipe, although "cachimba" is also used, along with "shisha" by Moroccan immigrants in Spain. Sheesha, from the Persian word shīshe meaning glass, is the common term for the hookah in Egypt, Sudan and countries of the Arab Peninsula (including Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Yemen and Saudi Arabia), and in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Somalia. In Iran, hookah is called "Qalyān" (Persian:Qalyān). Persian qalyan is included in the earliest European compendium on tobacco, the tobacolgia written by Johan Neander and published in Dutch in 1622. It seems that over time water pipes acquired an Iranian connotation as in eighteenth-century Egypt the most fashionable pipes were called Karim Khan after the Iranian ruler of the day. This is also the name used in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. In Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, a hookah is called chillim. In India and Pakistan the name most similar to the English hookah is used: huqqa In Maldives, hookah is called "Gudugudaa". The hookah pipe is also known as the "Marra pipe" in the UK, especially in the North East, where it is used for recreational purposes. The widespread use of the Indian word "hookah" in the English language is a result of the British Raj, the British dominion of India (1858–1947), when large numbers of expatriate Britons first sampled the water pipe. William Hickey, shortly after arriving in Kolkata, India, in 1775, wrote in his Memoirs: MIDDLE EAST-In the middle east and Arab world, people smoke waterpipe as part of their culture and traditions. Social smoking is done with a single or double hose hookah, and sometimes even triple or quadruple hose hookahs in the forms of parties or small get-togethers are used. When the smoker is finished, either the hose is placed back on the table signifying that it is available, or it is handed from one user to the next, folded back on itself so that the mouthpiece is not pointing at the recipient. Local names of waterpipe in the middle east are, ghalyan or ḡalyān, shisha, argila, nargile, nafas, ḥoqqa, čelam/čelīm) Most cafés in the Middle East offer shishas. Cafés are widespread and are amongst the chief social gathering places in the Arab world (akin to public houses in Britain). Some expatriate residents arriving in the Middle East adopt shisha cafés to make up for the lack of pubs in the region, especially where prohibition is in place.IranThe exact date of the first use of ḡalyān in Persia is not known. According to Cyril Elgood , who does not mention his source, it was Abul-Fatḥ Gilani (d. 1588), a Persian physician at the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar I, who "first passed the smoke of tobacco through a small bowl of water to purify and cool the smoke and thus invented the hubble-bubble or hookah." However, a quatrain of Ahli Shirazi refers to the use of the ḡalyān , thus dating its use at least as early as the time of Tahmasp I (1524–76). It seems, therefore, that Abul-Fath Gilani should be credited with the introduction of the ḡalyān, already in use in Persia, to India. Although the Safavid Shah ʿAbbās I strongly condemned tobacco use, towards the end of his reign smoking ḡalyān and čopoq had become common on every level of the society, women included. In schools, both teachers and students had ḡalyāns while lessons continued Falsafī, II . Shah Safi of Persin declared a complete ban on tobacco, but the income received from its use persuaded him to soon revoke the ban. The use of ḡalyāns became so widespread that a group of poor people became professional tinkers of crystal water pipes. During the time of Abbas II of Persia , use of the water pipe had become a national addiction The shah (king) had his own private ḡalyān servants. Evidently the position of water pipe tender (ḡalyāndār) dates from this time. Also at this time, reservoirs were made of glass, pottery, or a type of gourd. Because of the unsatisfactory quality of indigenous glass, glass reservoirs were sometimes imported from Venice . In the time of Suleiman I of Persia (r. 1694-1722), ḡalyāns became more elaborately embellished as their use increased. The wealthy owned gold and silver pipes. The masses spent more on ḡalyāns than they did on the necessities of life . An emissary of Sultan Husayn (r.1722-32) to the court of Louis XV of France, on his way to the royal audience at Versailles, had in his retinue an officer holding his ḡalyān, which he used while his carriage was in motion (Herbette, tr. ; Kasrawī, Semsār, 1963, We have no record indicating the use of ḡalyān at the court of Nader Shah, although its use seems to have continued uninterrupted. There are portraits of Karim Khan of the Zand dynasty of Iran and Fat′h-Ali Shah Qajar which depict them smoking the ḡalyān. Iranians had a special tobacco called Khansar , presumably name of the origin city, Khvansar). The charcoals would be put on the Khansar without foil. Khansar has less smoke than the normal tobacco. Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia is in the process of implementing general smoking bans in public places and government offices. This includes shishas. Additionally, the city of Riyadh has banned shisha cafes within city limits. Syria In Syria, shisha is widely used, usually called "argila"; it is available on almost every corner. It has become part of Syria's everyday culture. It is normal to see a female smoking shisha in Syria. It is a very sociable activity, often involving games as well as smoking South Asia Pakistan Although it has been traditionally prevalent in rural areas for generations, smoking hookahs has become very popular in the cosmopolitan cities of Pakistan. One can see many cafés in Pakistan offering hookah smoking to its guests. Even lots of households have hookahs for smoking or decoration purposes. In Punjab, Pakhtunkhwa, and in northern Balochistan, the topmost part on which coals are placed is called chillum. INDIAThe concept of hookah is thought to have originated In India, once the province of the wealthy, it was tremendously popular especially during Mughal rule. The hookah has since become less popular; however, it is once again garnering the attention of the masses, and cafés and restaurants that offer it as a consumable are popular. The use of hookahs from ancient times in India was not only a custom, but a matter of prestige. Rich and landed classes would smoke hookahs. Tobacco is smoked in hookahs in many villages as per traditional customs. Smoking tobacco-molasses is now becoming popular amongst the youth in India. There are several chain clubs, bars and coffee shops in India offering a wider variety of mu‘assels, including non-tobacco versions. Hookah was recently banned in Bangalore. However, it can be bought or rented for personal usage or organized parties. Koyilandy, a small fishing town on the west coast of India, once made and exported hookahs extensively. These are known as Malabar Hookhas or Koyilandy Hookahs. Today these intricate hookahs are difficult to find outside of Koyilandy and are becoming difficult even to find in Koyilandy itself. As hookah makes resurgence in India, there have been numerous raids and bans recently on hookah smoking, especially in GujaratNepal Hookahs, especially wooden ones, are popular in Nepal. Use of hookahs is considered to symbolize elite family throughout history. These days hookahs are also getting popular among younger people and tourists. The main tourists places like Kathmandu, Pokhara and Dharan are famous for Hookah Bars. You can smoke hookahs at the rate of 175 Rs Minimum Bangladesh The hookah has been a traditional smoking instrument in Bangladesh, as it has been in India However, flavored shisha was introduced in the early 2000s. Hookah lounges spread quite quickly between 2008–2011 and became very popular among young people as well as middle-aged people as a relaxation method. Southeast Asia In Southeast Asia, the hookah, where it is predominantly called shisha, was particularly used within the Arab and Indian communities. Hookah was virtually unknown in Southeast Asia before the latter 20th century, yet the popularity among contemporary younger people is now vastly growing. Southeast Asia's most cosmopolitan cities, Makati, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, now have various bars and clubs that offer hookahs to patrons. Although hookah use has been common for hundreds of years and enjoyed by people of all ages, it has just begun to become a youth-oriented pastime in Asia in recent times. South Africa In South Africa, hookah, colloquially known as a hubbly bubbly or an okka pipe, is popular amongst the Cape Malay and Indian populations, wherein it is smoked as a social pastime. However, hookah is seeing increasing popularity with white South Africans, especially the youth. Bars that additionally provide hookahs are becoming more prominent, although smoking is normally done at home or in public spaces such as beaches and picnic sites. In South Africa, the terminology of the various hookah components also differ from other countries. The clay "head/bowl" is known as a "clay pot". The hoses are called "pipes" and the air release valve is known as a "clutch". The windscreen (which is considered optional and not used by most peopleis known as an "As-jas", which directly translates from Afrikaans to English as an "ash-jacket". Also, making/preparing the "clay pot" is commonly referred to as "racking the hubbly". United States and Canada Hookah lounge During the 1960s and 1970s, hookahs were a popular tool for the consumption of various derivations of tobacco, among other things. At parties or small gatherings the hookah hose was passed around with users partaking as they saw fit. Typically, though, open flames were used instead of burning coals.