On his second voyage to the New World, Jacques Cartier met the Iroquoians in the village of Hochelaga (today's Montreal) and was introduced to a cultivated plant which, when dried and pounded into small pieces, was then packed into 'pipes' and set alight. Cartier was intrigued by their habit of smoking and provided this description of their use of tobacco: "There groweth also a certain kind of herb, whereof in summer they make a great provision for all the year, making great account of it, and only men use it, and first they cause it to be dried in the sun, then wear it about their necks, wrapped in a little beast's skin made like a little bag, with a hollow piece of wood or stone like a pipe. Then when they please they make powder of it, and then put it in one of the ends of the said cornet or pipe, and laying a coal of fire upon it, at the other end suck so long that they fill their bodies full of smoke till that it cometh out of their mouth and nostrils, even as out of the funnel of a chimney. They say that it doth keep them warm and in health: they never go without some of it about them. We ourselves have tried the same smoke, and, having put it in our mouths, it seemed almost as hot as pepper."
Source: Leacock, S. (2008). The Mariner of St. Malo. Toronto: Glasgow, Brook & Company.
|Topics:||Cultivation, production and trade, Medicinal use of drugs|