The Origin of the Bong

The Origin of the Bong

The bong is a type of filtration device that is typically used for smoking tobacco or herbs. It’s is designed similar to a hookahs, except bongs are smaller and more portable.

The term bong is actually derived from the Thai word Baung, which refers to a wooden tube or pipe made from bamboo. They have been used for centuries by people in Africa, Hmong and Laos. However the term was not recorded until 1940’s when it was seen in a Thai-English dictionary. It was described as a bamboo pipe used for smoking hemp.

Water pipes were first used in China around the ming dynasty (16th century) around the same time as tobacco was introduced. The water pipe went on to be the most popular way to smoke tobacco, until the country became a republic. It is believed that Empress Dowager Cixi smoked and had three or more water pipes buried with her, which can be apparently be found in the palace museum.

During the Quing dynasty bongs were made from bamboo or metal… the material of your bong defined your status
Bamboo – country folk, metal (either brass or bronze) – Chinese merchants, nobles and urbanites… whereas royals or high nobles often had them made in silver and decorated in jewels to show their wealth.