Evolution of Hookah

The hookah also known as kalyan, sheesha, shisha, okka, goza, or nargeela, is a popular hobby enjoyed worldwide. Its origin creator, and the time of its invention are often asked about due to its widespread popularity.

The Introduction of the First Hookah

The first hookahs in the style we recognize today were created in 16th century India. It is said that the first recognized use of the hookah was in the city of Fatehpur Sikri where in the mid-1500s tobacco was introduced to the region for the first time. Tobacco quickly became popular among the aristocracy but they needed a new way to smoke it.

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Glass manufacturing was a skill which was becoming popular in India via the British East India Company played a crucial role. The increased use of the material led to Hakim Aboul Futteh Ghilani, the physician of Akbar developing a glass base filled with water through which smoke could be purified. According to records this was the first ever hookah and Hakim Aboul Futteh Ghilani was the first person to invent it.

However smoking shisha tobacco was still regarded as a hobby for the nobility.

Global Recognization

The invention of smoking shisha quickly spread. In the 17th century it became deeply rooted in Persian culture where locals used stronger tobacco leaves called Ajami. Not only was there a difference in shisha tobacco but varying woodworking techniques also meant that the style and design of hookahs in Persian culture differed from those in India. Hookah also known as Nargileh in Persian was widely available to people of all social classes not just the nobility. This accessibility, combined with changes in style and design, laid the foundation for the hookah industry as we recognize it today.

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Modern Innovation of Hookah

During the 17th and 18th centuries it gained popularity in Turkey and the Middle East. In Turkish culture the traditional brass hookahs adorned with religious markings were replaced by more intricate patterns crafted by blacksmiths as a symbol of status. The most valuable shisha were smoked after royal dinners and parties to show trust towards guests.

In the 19th century when shisha arrived in the Middle East there was a significant change in the type of tobacco used. Egypt introduced Mu’Assel a type of tobacco mixed with honey or molasses. Over time Mu’Assel became associated with shisha tobacco containing flavors such as dried lemon, mint, and grape.

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Another important development in the region was the invention of the purge port which helped cool down the tobacco and improve its flavor. This innovation not only changed the course of its history but also led to a significant increase in its popularity. While smoking shisha remained a tradition among the nobility it also became available in dedicated shisha cafes, uniting people of all classes, races, and genders and giving rise to hookah culture.

Hookah Culture Now

The hookah culture spread throughout Persia, India, the Middle East, and Turkey in the 20th century, becoming a part of daily life. By the end of the century it had become popular on almost every continent. Today the United States has one of the biggest markets with a significant improvement in the quality of hookah products. A wide range of new hookah accessories hoses, bowls, and charcoal has been introduced. This industry has become big business offering diversified hookahs made from different materials at varying prices.

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One of the major changes in modern times is the variety of shisha tobacco available in stores and hookah lounges with an abundance of brands, flavors, and types. The modern hookah industry offers a wide range of choices. The history of hookah spans 500 years during which time hookah culture has evolved from an elitist activity to a hobby for everyone. The future of shisha holds many possibilities.

People also read about: How To Enjoy Your Hookah?

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