MONSTERS OF SMOKE Bongs Who Invented the Bong?

Who Invented the Bong?

A bong is a filtration device that is used for smoking herb, tobacco, or other substances. It consists of a bowl and a stem that guides the smoke through water, creating bubbles and cooling the smoke before it is inhaled. Bongs are popular among smokers who enjoy the smooth and flavorful hits they produce. But who invented the bong and how did it become so widespread?

The history of the bong is not very clear, as different cultures and regions have used similar devices for centuries. However, some of the earliest evidence of bong use comes from Asia, Africa, and Europe, where ancient civilizations used water pipes for smoking various plants.

The Scythian Bongs

In 2013, Russian archaeologists made a surprising discovery when they excavated a Scythian burial mound in southern Russia. They found two bongs made of solid gold that dated back to around 400 BC. The Scythians were a nomadic tribe that ruled over large parts of Eurasia for more than a thousand years. They were known for their fierce warriors, elaborate art, and ritual use of psychoactive substances.

The gold bongs were decorated with scenes of Scythian life, such as hunting, fighting, and feasting. They also contained traces of opium and cannabis, suggesting that the Scythians used them to smoke these plants during ceremonies or celebrations. The bongs were probably reserved for the elite members of the society, as they were buried with other valuable items such as jewelry, weapons, and horses.

The Scythian bongs are the oldest known examples of water pipes in the world, and they show that the concept of filtering smoke through water was already developed more than two millennia ago.

The Asian Bongs

Another possible origin of the bong is Asia, where water pipes have been used for smoking tobacco and other herbs for centuries. The word “bong” itself is derived from the Thai word “baung”, which refers to a cylindrical bamboo tube that can be used as a pipe. The baung was widely used in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar for smoking tobacco or cannabis.

Some sources also claim that the water pipe was invented in India by a physician named Hakim Abul Fath in the 16th century. He suggested that tobacco smoke should be passed through water to make it less harmful. He also introduced tobacco to India from Persia, where it was brought by traders along the Silk Road. The Indian water pipe was called “hookah” or “huqqa”, and it became popular among the nobility and the commoners alike.

The hookah spread to other parts of Asia and the Middle East, where it was adapted to different cultures and preferences. For example, in China, the water pipe was made of metal and had a long flexible hose that allowed multiple people to share it. In Turkey, the water pipe was decorated with colorful glass and ornate designs. In Iran, the water pipe was called “ghelyan” or “narghile”, and it was used to smoke flavored tobacco mixed with molasses or honey.

The African Bongs

Africa is another continent where water pipes have been used for a long time. Archaeological evidence shows that bongs made of clay, wood, or gourds were used by various tribes in southern and eastern Africa since at least the 11th century AD. These bongs were often shaped like animals or human figures, and they were used to smoke cannabis or tobacco during rituals or social gatherings.

Some of the most famous African bongs are the ones used by the Rastafari movement in Jamaica and other Caribbean islands. The Rastafari are a religious group that follows a form of Christianity influenced by African traditions and Ethiopian culture. They regard cannabis as a sacred herb that can bring them closer to God and enhance their spiritual awareness. They use large bongs called “chalice” or “wisdom” to smoke cannabis during ceremonies or meditations.

The Modern Bongs

The modern bongs that we see today are mostly made of glass and have various features such as percolators, ice catchers, diffusers, ash catchers, etc. These features are designed to improve the filtration, cooling, and smoothness of the smoke. Glass bongs are also preferred by many smokers because they are easy to clean, durable, and transparent.

The glass bong was invented by an American glassblower named Bob Snodgrass in the 1960s and 1970s. He was traveling with the Grateful Dead, a famous rock band, and selling his handmade pipes and bongs to the fans. He also developed a technique called “fuming”, which involves adding silver or gold to the glass to create color-changing effects. Snodgrass is considered the father of the modern glass bong industry, and he inspired many other artists to follow his footsteps.

The bong became more popular in the western world in the 1970s and 1980s, as cannabis culture and legalization movements grew. Bongs were also featured in movies, music, and magazines, making them more mainstream and accessible. Today, bongs are widely available in online shops, head shops, dispensaries, and even some convenience stores. They come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and prices, catering to different tastes and budgets.


The bong is a fascinating device that has a long and rich history. It has been used by different cultures and civilizations for various purposes, such as recreation, medicine, religion, or art. It has also evolved over time to suit different needs and preferences. The bong is more than just a smoking tool; it is a symbol of creativity, diversity, and freedom.