Learn more about Jamaica’s Heritage as we present a weekly feature where we put on show artefacts selected by curators from our museums.
See more featured artifacts here
This week we highlight the story of a “ a 17th Century White and Red Clay Tobaco Pipe” selected by the Natural History Museum of Jamaica.
Tobacco became very fashionable in Europe during the 17th century and the growing demand fuelled a tobacco-growing economy in the Caribbean and North America.
The discovery of white clay pipes in Port Royal reflects the level of trade between England and Port Royal at the time as England was the largest manufacturer of these pipes.
Between 1682 and 1695, shipments of white clay pipes to Jamaica were said to have totalled more than shipments to all other New World colonies combined.
Given the huge demand for smoking pipes, a local cottage industry emerged using native red clays. Red clay pipes, almost exclusively of Jamaican origin were made by African-Jamaican hands.