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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Broadnax in Brunswick County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Tobacco As a Way of Life

 
 
Tobacco As a Way of Life Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, April 30, 2016
1. Tobacco As a Way of Life Marker
Inscription. Tobacco has long held a sacred and prominent role among the Indian tribes in the southeast. Well before Christopher Columbus returned with tobacco seeds from the Caribbean or Sir Walter Raleigh made smoking fashionable in Europe when he returned from Carolina with a pipe and tobacco, Indians had universally integrated tobacco into their religious, social, and cultural ways of life.

Tobacco had many ceremonial uses. Indians used the green leaves of tobacco as a way to purify oneself before a ceremony and placed tobacco at the base of a fire pit when it came time to create a new fire. Tobacco was also offered to the spirits for appeasement and thanks; being thrown into the waters, ground, and air for good fishing, hunting, and travels among other things.

Tobacco was commonly used as direct medicine for ailments like snake bites or bee stings and as part of other roots and plants that were mixed together to form a cure. Tobacco even had a higher standing among other medicines since it was always mixed in boiling water or a bowl first before other ingredients were added.

Socially, both men and women smoked tobacco using clay pipes. Even though smoking was considered common among the Indians, the act of smoking from a ceremonial pipe when discussing matters of state took on an air of ceremony when all parties
Tobacco Heritage Trail - Evans Creek Road Trailhead image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, April 30, 2016
2. Tobacco Heritage Trail - Evans Creek Road Trailhead
present smoked from the same pipe and blessed the words spoken as truth.

Indians raised a different variety of tobacco than the West Indies variety currently used worldwide. They also used the sun to cure the leaves. - Dante Desiderio
 
Erected by Tobacco Heritage Trail.
 
Location. 36° 44.134′ N, 77° 57.544′ W. Marker is in Broadnax, Virginia, in Brunswick County. Marker can be reached from Evans Creek Road (County Route 623) one mile north of Governor Harrison Parkway (U.S. 58), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located on the Tobacco Heritage Trail. Marker is in this post office area: Brodnax VA 23920, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bridges of Brunswick County (approx. 0.6 miles away); You are Traveling Through the Scenic Meherrin River Watershed! (approx. mile away); The American Thoroughbred in Brunswick (approx. 2.7 miles away); Rolling Post Office (approx. 3 miles away); Staunton River Raid (approx. 3.8 miles away); Broadnax (approx. 4.1 miles away); Hospital and School of the Good Shepherd (approx. 4.4 miles away); Mecklenburg County / Brunswick County (approx. 4.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Broadnax.
 
Also see . . .  Tobacco Heritage Trail. (Submitted on May 1, 2016.)
 
Categories. AgricultureColonial EraNative Americans
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 1, 2016, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 95 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 1, 2016, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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