The History of Dokha Tobacco
The history of dokha tobacco begins with traditional Native American tobacco. These ultra-intense strains of wild North American tobacco were introduced to the old world by the European travelers and explorers. This tobacco advanced toward North Africa, Egypt, the Levant, and at last to down to the Arabian Peninsula. These strains reached places like Al-Buraimi in Oman and the Hatta Valley in present day UAE. Tobacco was introduced to the Middle East in the form of a tall water pipe called a hookah. Also called ?nargile? in Arabic and Turkish. Due to the cost and maintenance of hookah smoking, tobacco was typically reserved for the elite of the time. Dokha was later created as an inexpensive and simple method of smoking for every class to enjoy.
The first record of dokha in history goes back to the late 1500’s in the mountains of northern Iran. Here it was used for recreation and medicinally by the local population. During the 1800’s dokha turned into a mainstream trade in the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding regions. Farmers would cultivate and sell their product to British mariners and officers whom occupied the region during that era. With the advent of the cigarette at the turn of the 20th century, dokha took the backseat as the tobacco form of choice. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that dokha and the culture around it saw a massive resurgence in popularity in the Persian Gulf.
Rising in Popularity
Popular as a niche tobacco in the Middle East for generations, “dokha” is the unadulterated, traditional, and unique Arabic tobacco. Unlike most tobaccos, you do not fire or air cure dokha.? Rather, dokha is sun-dried in the arid desert from which it’s cultivated. This subspecies of nicotiana is grown in extremely hot and dry conditions. These conditions combined with watering restrictions puts stress on the plant prompting it to increase nicotine and other alkaloid production.
The dried leaves are finely ground within a few days to a few weeks as to preserve the color, quality, freshness, and flavor. Due to the lesser degree of processing, dokha tobacco is basically unaltered and keeps up the green hue of the plant. The tobacco is then carefully mixed with leaves from each segment of the plant. The resulting mixes are regularly grouped into light or “barid”(cold), medium or “daffi” (warm), or hot or “harr” (hot) blends.
Into the Modern Age
In the past, people smoked dokha because it gave them an invigorating and soothing head rush or ?laf raas?. However, different farming methods and selective breeding has made some amazing progress for this tobacco throughout the years. What we have today is a far superior tobacco product.
Traditional dokha was frequently blended with dried flowers, herbs, and spices to cool the harsh temperature of the tobacco and enhance different flavors. Some Iranian and Turkish mixes would be blended with the barks and leaves of indigenous local plants. Present day Dokha, is essentially 100% unadulterated tobacco without any additives. Other tobacco products, are fermented, aged, and processed with fillers and chemicals. And unlike most tobacco, dokha is cultivated using only fish meal and without the use of herbicides and pesticides.
The Superior Smoke
When compared to other tobacco products, most smokers who have delved into dokha are captivated by its unique attributes. The satisfactory buzz it gives to the smoker, and the superior flavor versus cigarettes, cigars or other pipe tobaccos is evident. Our customers can be assured that our dokha blends are pure, organic, additive-free and of the highest quality. We source our dokha from some of the oldest family farming groups and growing regions in the Middle East. Our relationship with them ensures that quality and fair pricing be passed on to you, the customer.
Individuals that smoke dokha notice several advantages over other tobacco products besides the satisfying buzz. Because of the small amount of smoke and lack of chemicals, the smell of the smoke will not stick to any surface or fabric. Your hair, hands, and clothes will not smell unpleasant or invasive to other individuals around you. Nicotine stains on your hands will be a thing of the past. The amount of plant material smoked is far less causing less strain on your lungs. A cigarette contains between 1.4 to1 1.9 grams of tobacco versus 0.13 to 0.15 grams in a bowl of dokha. However, with a clear conscious we cannot call our product a healthy alternative. This is still a tobacco product.
You smoke dokha out of a small narrow pipe called a “medwakh”. The length of the pipe and narrow chamber are designed to keep the smoke as cool as possible. The design of the pipe as well as the front tip near the bowl serve both functional and symbolic purposes. Symbolically, There are two shapes the front of the medwakh can possess. Curved tips represent a falcon’s talon. Falcon hunting is a national sports and favorite past time in the region. The straight tip represents the front of a canoe, paying tribute to the rich sailing tradition of the Persian Gulf. Functionally, The tip can be cupped in the palm of the hand. This allows it to be lit in the constant desert winds.
Originally, hollowed animal bones were utilized as both pipes and storage containers. Today, skilled workers carve these pipes using a variety of local and imported woods. Artisans use other materials such as bone, ivory, and an assortment of metals to create these pipes. Higher quality medwakh are often accompanied with a container or ?chanta?. There is a wide variety of styles of medwakh to accommodate everyone’s personal taste.
At Kingdom Dokha we take pride and continue to honor this tradition. This is why we hope that you enjoy our history of dokha tobacco lesson. We provide only the finest quality dokha, medwakh, and accessories. We stand by our products and offer competitive prices and service. Additionaly, we are constantly looking to expand our product line so check back frequently for new offers and articles here in our Dokha Education Section.? We hope you will continue to choose tobacco fit for a king.