Chillum (pipe)

Chillum (pipe)
An Italian-made chillum
Darrel Mortimer holding 8' tattooed bamboo chillum; photograph by Sally Larsen, 2009

A chillum, or chilam, is a straight conical pipe with end-to-end channel, traditionally made of clay and used since at least the 18th century.[1] by wandering Hindu monks, known as sadhus[2] in India. More recently, it has also seen use in sacraments by Rastafarians[3][4] in Jamaica, and by recreational drug users to smoke cannabis, tobacco, or opiates.

According to Alfred Dunhill, Africans have long employed chillum-style pipes for smoking hemp and later tobacco. Gourds and various horns were often employed while conical bowls were common in Uganda. One of the more famous pipes is an ivory cone pipe once belonging to "Waganda" monarch King Mtesa.[5]

Since the 1960s the embellished bamboo chillum has become an American folk art form. These pipes are hand made and often sold by the artists on street corners in places like the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco and the Greenwich Village area of New York City. As designs these contemporary smoking pipes recall traditional decorated bamboo pipes from Borneo,[5] however, the American carved bamboo design often employs a brass lighting fixture for a bowl. Since the 1970s, street artist Darrel "Pipeman" Mortimer of San Francisco has made nearly 10,000 such pipes, each signed, numbered and sold personally.[6]

Rastafarian ceremony

In "reasoning sessions'" and grounations, the ritual chillum used is made of a cow's horn or conical wood piece, fitted with a long drawtube giving the smoke time to cool before inhalation. When using the pipe, a user draws slowly to control temperature, improving the yield of cannabinoids. A wire screen embedded in the opening permits using fine-sifted herb material, from which cannabinoids vaporize out readily, without drawing small particles down inside the channel.

A bong-like chillum equipped with a water filtration chamber is sometimes referred to as a chalice, based on a quote from the Biblical book of Deuteronomy.[7] Thanks and praises are offered to Jah before smoking the chillum.[8]

See also


  1. ^ A bidri chillum, India, 18th Century
  2. ^ Dolf Hartsuiker. Holy Smoke Sadhus and Yogis of India
  3. ^ Spotlight on Rastafarian sects
  4. ^ 'Rasta in Transition' launched at Livity Restaurant
  5. ^ a b Dunhill, Alfred: "The Pipe Book", London, A & C Black, 1924
  6. ^ Austin, Buck: "Darrel Mortimer", Alarm Magazine, Chicago, summer 2004
  7. ^ The Rastafari by Maria Baptist
  8. ^ The Rastafarians by Leonard E. Barrett 1988

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chillum — may refer to: Chillum (pipe) Chillum, Maryland This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an internal link led you here, you may wish to change the link to point directly …   Wikipedia

  • Chillum — Ein Shillum (häufig auch Chillum genannt) ist ein konisches, etwa 10 20 cm langes, Holz , Ton oder Steinrohr mit einer ebenfalls konischen Bohrung, die am dünnsten Ende etwa 5 mm misst und dient zum Rauchen von Cannabisprodukten. Wegen der meist… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pipe a eau — Pipe à eau Pour les articles homonymes, voir Pipe, Bong et Bang. Une pipe à eau …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chillum — Un chillum de Goa Le chillum est une sorte de pipe de forme conique, avec une pierre trouée faisant office de filtre, servant principalement à consommer le cannabis, soit sous forme végétale, soit sous forme résineuse. Les chillums sont… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pipe à eau — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Pipe, Bong et Bang. Une pipe à eau Une pipe à eau ou bong ou encore bangh (à ne pas confondre avec le bhang , terme indien désignan …   Wikipédia en Français

  • chillum — n a type of container (usually ceramic, but sometimes made of wood or stone) which is packed with marihuana or hashish (often mixed with tobacco) for smoking. This item from the lexicon of hippies and other cannabis users is not a pipe but a… …   Contemporary slang

  • chillum — UK [ˈtʃɪləm] / US noun [countable] Word forms chillum : singular chillum plural chillums informal a type of pipe used for smoking the drug cannabis …   English dictionary

  • chillum — [“tfilam] n. a pipe or device used for the smoking of marijuana. (Drugs.) □ He keeps a chillum in his stash. □ Ernie carries a chillum with him. He’s trying to sell it …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

  • chillum — noun Etymology: Hindi cilam & Urdu chilam, from Persian chilam Date: 1781 1. the part of a water pipe that contains the substance (as tobacco or hashish) which is smoked; also a quantity of a substance thus smoked 2. a funnel shaped clay pipe for …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • chillum — noun A conical pipe used for smoking marijuana, usually made of fired clay, porcelain, soapstone, glass or more rarely, wood and 100 150 mm long and 25 35 mm wide at the mouth. Especially for him I’ve kept some hash that I had gotten from another …   Wiktionary

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