Record Detail

Catalogue Number DBN 2034
Artefact DescriptionDried tobacco leaves. This South American plant is now widely cultivated and one of the most addictive and lucrative plant products on the market. Tobacco as we know it comes from the processed dried leaves of Nicotiana sp. It's most commonly used as a drug in the form of smoking cigarettes and cigars, snuff, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco and flavoured shishas. Despite the well known health problems caused from the direct and indirect inhalation of tobacco smoke and the addictive qualities of nicotine, the tobacco trade is still at large. But before its commercial production and devastating world influence, traditional tobacco was deeply revered and respected in some traditional cultures like that of Native Americans.

"Sacred tobacco" has played a significant role in Native American culture for centuries. Considered a gift from Mother Earth, tabacco is used to connect and communicate with the spirit world, is a symbol of peace and healing and provides people with spiritual strength, guidance and discipline. This is further emphasised through its incorporation into folklore.
TaxonSOLANACEAE Nicotiana tabacum
TDWG ContinentAsia-Temporate
TDWG RegionEastern Asia
TDWG Botanical CountryJapan
TDWG UseSocial Uses - Smoking Materials
Source Imperial Government of Japan