Hookah History

What is hookah?

Hookah is a centuries old tradition which people of class and status would partake in. The hookah lifestyle became a symbol of status. So much so that Sultans and royalty of that time would have portraits painted of themselves with their hookahs in it. Hookah was smoked at royal weddings, dinners, and diplomatic meetings. No one really where this lavish practice began but many believe hookah originated in India or from the middle east region, parts of Asia and parts of Africa. It is believed that the rapid spread of hookah was because of British trade with India during the 15th century. Also known as shisha, sheesha, narghile, argileh, and goza, the term hookah refers to the water pipe that is used to smoke hookah tobacco. The tobacco that is smoked out of a hookah is not regular tobacco, but rather known as shisha or massel. Shisha is a sticky mixture of tobacco, honey and/or molasses. The unique thing about shisha is that it contains flavorings that everyone can enjoy. Check out some of the flavors we offer.

How The World Started Smoking Hookah

The origins of hookah is a mystery, but the spread of hookah is traceable. After the finding of the New World, the love of smoking tobacco never left. Fast forward to the Silk Road and the expansion of the British Trade, the love of tobacco spread and with that, so did the means of indulging in smoking tobacco. Earliest records insist hookah started in the northeast of India (modern day Pakistan) and spread to Iran and the rest of the Arab world. The tradition of hookah was a way for both men and women to find great pleasure in smoking tobacco out of a water pipe. Yes, the history of hookah started elsewhere, but it was considered “primitive” to the western world until it reached Turkey. Turkey revolutionized the hookah and did not change its style for a few hundred years. During the time of Murad the IV’s rule of Turkey, hookah popularity grew as well as the hookahs’ engineering. Skillfully handcrafted glass and wooden fixtures that developed into the hookah we use today were being constructed. Once this happened, the luxurious look of the hookah appealed to the wealthy and it became a symbol of wealth, status, and power.

The Modern Day Hookah

As popularity continued to grow, so did the availability of hookah. Coffee shop cultures began around the same time. During this time, the consumption of hookah spread amongst men and women. Eventually the rules for proper hookah etiquette were developed by the elites. Today, hookah can be found in bars, lounges, and coffee shops around the world. While some of the customs and etiquette may have changed from country to country, the tradition of the practice remains the same. Hookah is a social lifestyle activity for people to come together, talk, and enjoy their time.

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